Worthing’s County Local Committee (CLC) decides next Wednesday (September 4th) whether to support the proposed £1 million refurbishment of Montague Street. On the same agenda is whether to progress 20 mph zones in Worthing’s residential streets. The schemes compete for the use of available funds.
Worthing Borough Council voted in April to support the Montague Street scheme with £750,000 from S.106 contributions. These are monies given by developers as a condition of planning application approval. The balance of the funding is expected from West Sussex County Council.
Supporters of 20 mph zones expected the cost of the scheme estimated at £350,000 to £400,000 to be met from the same funds. The report makes clear £50,000 would still be available for the consultation on 20 mph zones to be conducted in Summer 2014 but the option is given to cancel the scheme altogether.
Duncan Kay of 20’s Plenty said: “20’s Plenty welcomes the recommendation in the report to the CLC that plans for 20 mph limits on residential streets should go to a full public consultation.
“However the campaign is extremely concerned to learn that the plans put forward by Cllr Michael Cloake to repave Montague Street at a cost of £1 million would leave no funds left to implement 20 mph limits. What is even more concerning is the rumour that some councillors even want to deny the people of Worthing their chance to express their views on 20’s Plenty by cancelling the planned consultation.
“If this happens it will effectively end all hope of getting 20 mph limits on residential streets in Worthing for years. From speaking to people on the street and knocking on people’s doors, we find 70-80% of people support 20 mph limits, but some Councillors are not listening to them!
“We urge the public to write to their County Councillors and come to the CLC meeting to make their views known.”
Tim Nicholls, Chair of South Broadwater Residents Association, said: “To me this is comparing and arguing for two schemes which aren’t a bit related.
“We are disappointed that the total waste of tax-payers money in re-paving of Montague Street is being put up against a reduction in the speed limit which has been proven to save lives and the argument that has been put forward appears to be favouring the former.
“Also the possible implementation of 20 mph is being put off to an unknown date in the future.“
CLC member Cllr Michael Cloake said: “The leaders of West Sussex County Council and Worthing Borough Council have recently agreed to plans for the much needed redevelopment of Worthing’s main shopping district to bring it up to the standard of neighbouring towns. The Leader of WBC publically stated at the last full council that it intends to commit £750,000 to the project, and WSCC has awarded a grant of £200,000 to the scheme.
“A project of this size and nature has rightly been put immediately onto the local County Local Committee priorities list for consideration, and this will be up for discussion by all Members at the scheduled meeting on the 4th September. As the local Member I fully support the plans I have seen to date.
“20’s Plenty is also on the agenda following a period of surveying and evidence gathering, and Councillors are due to decide whether to continue to spend limited available funding on exploring the practicality of implementing the scheme. A full public consultation on 20’s Plenty is likely to cost taxpayers £50,000, with a further £400,000 needed to implement the scheme across Worthing.
“As the Councillor for Worthing Pier I have received a significant volume of correspondence both for and against the 20’s Plenty proposals. My decision on the 4th September will be made based on the evidence I have available to me and will draw on the feedback from my residents.”
The County Local Committee meeting is at 7.00 pm on Wednesday September 4th in the Heene Community Centre, 122 Heene Road.