It took 11 years to get a Community Notice Board on Cricketers Parade in Broadwater as the red tape was a veritable Gordian knot. Today red tape brings a sour note to the Great Big Teville Gate Clean Up and continues to frustrate community efforts.
On street parties four years ago the Department for Communities and Local Government run by Eric Pickles announced: “From now on, instead of organisers being met with endless, confusing guidelines on food licences, road closures and insurance – councils can ask street party organisers to complete one simple form.”
The hope was this would be a new beginning in cutting the local authority red tape that scuppers community efforts and causes many good citizens to tear their hair out. Street parties may now be easy to arrange but so much else is still stuck in treacle.
It was a problem with licences that held up the Broadwater Community Notice Board. Cricketers Parade green space is owned by West Sussex County Council and the notice board needed permission from Worthing Borough Council. West Sussex had to grant Worthing Borough Council a licence – it took two years. There has recently been a similar problem over the cutting of the grass which is why despite local residents wanting to get out the mowers the grass has been as high as an elephant’s eye.
Today’s organiser of the Great Big Teville Gate Clean Up, Paul O’Brien of Candy Love, is a one-man whirlwind in organising community events including the very successful Worthing Try Outs day introducing sports to young people. Worthing owes him a great debt. Yet he has been frustrated over a new venture to have a market, including young people, in Bath Place by the red tape and expense of road closures. In his freeing of street parties announcement Mr Pickles said “he will expel the myth that councils are required by law to advertise and charge extortionate fees for small road closures”. If that’s the case for street parties why not other events of benefit to the community?
And the sour note we alluded to and latest frustration? Worthing Theatres and the St Paul’s Centre commissioned an artist to paint a mural of the four Worthing theatres on the side of the Teville Gate car park as part of the clean up. For some reason Worthing Borough Council have vetoed the idea at the last moment. No wonder people continue to tear their hair out and feel like giving up.
Cut the red tape Worthing Borough Council. You know it makes sense.