Worthing ‘open for business’ as council sets its priorities

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ENCOURAGING and attracting new business to the town tops the list of Worthing Borough Council’s priorities for the next three years.

Chief executive of Adur and Worthing councils Peter Latham presented the list of corporate priorities to the joint strategic committee last Thursday – aims he hopes will be achievable.

The list of priorities was initially several pages long, but the final copy has been significantly reduced to just one page, in order to provide a realistic and understandable target.

Top of the list is to “support and improve the local economy”, which includes attracting new businesses into Worthing.

Mr Latham said he hoped councillors would work hard to implement them.

He said: “We’re not trying to scattergun it, but focus on the few and not the many.

“We want to let everyone know that we are open for business.”

He added: “We want to know what we can do to help existing and new businesses in the area.”

Amongst the other priorities set is to keep council tax indreases low, protect front-line services and work closely with the voluntary sector.

Deputy leader of Worthing Borough Council, Bryan Turner, who is also a cabinet member for regeneration, said he welcomed the focus on business.

He said: “I think it’s fantastic that the council want to focus on this – we want to help people out of recession.

“We have a good economic development team who are well known to businesses across the area.

“They don’t get the credit they deserve.”

Mr Turner said the council had a strong relationship with the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce and that the future looked positive.

He said: “Employment figures compare well to the rest of the country and Northbrook College is playing a vital role in providing training in the community.

“We have got all the fundamentals in place now and just need that spark to get things back on track nationally.”

The priorities also apply to Adur District Council.

Leader Neil Parkin said: “With the Government cutbacks, there has never been a better time to encourage local businesses.

“Councillor Yallop was also keen to get them down to one page. It doesn’t mean we don’t do anything else, but these will help do all the other things.”