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Chance to choose council members

VOTERS around Bognor Regis will be going to the polls next week to choose their new county councillors.

 

The main political parties set out their views here. The candidates also include four  Independents: Gill Yeates (Bersted), Steve Goodheart (Bognor Regis East), Graham Jones (Felpham) and Derek Ambler (Middleton).

 

Voting takes place from 7am-10pm next Thursday at a network of polling stations. The votes will be counted the next day and the results will be declared during that afternoon.

 

West Sussex County Council consists of 71 members and their political ties before the election were  43 Conservatives, ten UKIP, seven Liberal Democrat, six Labour and three Independents. There were also two vacancies.

 

The most recent elections in 2013 saw UKIP take the Bersted, Felpham, Middleton and Nyetimber divisions.

 

The Conservatives won in Bognor Regis West and Aldwick and Fontwell.The Lib Dems came first in Bognor Regis East.

 

The county council – based in Chichester – controls eight out of ten council services used by most residents. They include highways, education and social services which are being funded out of a current annual budget of £1,361.7m.

 

Conservative Party

 

“We have continued to deliver services in a tough financial landscape and are experienced in dealing with harsh financial times.

 

“We will continue to deliver good value for money services, ensure your voice is heard and invest in your communities.

 

“We want our children to have the best start in life. Education is important in a child’s development, and we are campaigning for fairer funding for our schools.

 

“We will continue to provide assistance to families in difficult times and keep children safe from harm.

 

“We are working with district councils investing to build a strong economy e.g. a creative digital hub in Bognor Regis.

 

“We are committed to working with district councils to make our ambitions a reality for vibrant town centres for residents and visitors to enjoy.

 

“Being safe in our community is important. West Sussex County Council is there in an emergency and our fire and rescue service is there 24/7. We work with our partners such as the police to ensure we provide as safe a place to live as possible.

 

“We have provided £9.25million through Operation Watershed to help reduce flooding in our communities and will continue to invest.

 

“We know there are many carers across the county looking after their loved ones who deserve a high standard of care.

 

“We will continue to provide help and support and will continue to recruit more care workers in the community.

 

“We have invested £30million in our Better Roads Programme and we are now investing over £5million to improve pavements and walkways.

 

“We are committed to building strong vibrant communities and be there in an emergency.

 

“We will continue to deliver services to support you today and tomorrow.

 

“Our candidates in the election are:

 

“David Edwards (Bersted), Kate Eccles (Bognor Regis East), Ashvin Patel (Bognor Regis West and Aldwick), Hilary Flynn (Felpham), Derek Whittington (Footwell), Jacky Pendleton (Middleton) and Dawn Hall (Nyetimber).”

 

Green Party

 

“We have continued to deliver services in a tough financial landscape and are experienced in dealing with harsh financial times.

 

“We will continue to deliver good value for money services, ensure your voice is heard and invest in your communities.

 

“We want our children to have the best start in life. Education is important in a child’s development, and we are campaigning for fairer funding for our schools.

 

“We will continue to provide assistance to families in difficult times and keep children safe from harm..

 

“We are working with district councils investing to build a strong economy e.g. a creative digital hub in Bognor Regis.

 

“We are committed to working with district councils to make our ambitions a reality for vibrant town centres for residents and visitors to enjoy.

 

“Being safe in our community is important. West Sussex County Council is there in an emergency and our fire and rescue service is there 24/7. We work with our partners such as the police to ensure we provide as safe a place to live as possible.

 

“We have provided £9.25million through Operation Watershed to help reduce flooding in our communities and will continue to invest.

 

“We know there are many carers across the county looking after their loved ones who deserve a high standard of care.

 

“We will continue to provide help and support and will continue to recruit more care workers in the community.

 

“We have invested £30million in our Better Roads Programme and we are now investing over £5million to improve pavements and walkways.

 

“We are committed to building strong vibrant communities and be there in an emergency.

 

“We will continue to deliver services to support you today and tomorrow.

 

“Green Party candidates for this election are:

 

“David Meagher (Bersted), Conrad Meagher (Bognor Regis East), Susan Livett (Bognor Regis West and Aldwick), Nathan Meagher (Felpham), Isabel Thurston (Fontwell), Sarah Rands (Middleton) and Carol Birch (Nyetimber).”

 

Liberal Democrat Party

 

“In Bognor Regis, the Liberal Democrats are now the clear alternative to the Conservatives in May’s County Council elections.Liberal Democrat councillors have had a distinct position on many local issues, including opposing the local plan with 3,700 houses likely to be built in Bersted and Pagham.
“Liberal Democrats are committed to reversing the waste tip changes that came in last October.
“The Conservative county council has already been forced to suspend the illegal tip charges, but a Lib Dem council would revert back to the original opening hours for all waste sites in West Sussex.
“This Conservative policy has been a direct attack on local residents, who already pay for the service and on top of that have had a further increase to their council tax this year!
“Some of our other priorities are:
“We shall better integrate social care with the NHS to ensure seamless community and hospital care, especially for our ageing population, and be more responsive to individual and family needs;
“Particular focus is to be made towards young people, whether in school or college, to ensure that mental health problems are spotted and dealt with swiftly. Waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) must be dramatically shortened;
“We shall continue to demand a fair education grant from the government to make up the £40m annual shortfall in West Sussex;
“We will reduce primary school class sizes to 30 or below; and
“At the heart of all our policies is doing the best for the local community, and delivering success on these important local issues.”
“Liberal Democrat candidates in the election are:
“Martin Smith (Bersted), Francis Oppler (Bognor Regis East), Paul Wells (Bognor Regis West and Aldwick), Alan Gale (Felpham), Barbara Roberts (Fontwell), Kenton Batley (Middleton) and Brooke Olsen (Nyetimber).”
Labour Party
“Tory-controlled West Sussex County Council has cut £224million from its budget, leading to county-wide chaos for libraries, roads, social care, health services, housing, schools and emergency services, among other issues.
“The Arun district has the highest demand for social care in the county due to the increasing over-75s population.
“But the county council is offering us the lowest provision of residential care homes – there will soon be thousands of places lacking. The county council must be pushed to invest responsibly in social care.
“Local schools are threatening four-day weeks and running budget deficits to protect their pupils from the effects. The shortfall in education funding across the county must be redressed.
“The lowest-paid Arun residents need a tenfold increase in their income to afford the cheapest housing, and we have some of the worst rates of overcrowding and homelessness in the county.
“Housing and infrastructure must be properly planned, taking into account local residents’ views.
“Financial policies we believe are incompetent and poor monitoring of privatised services wastes money so desperately needed to support essential services.
“Labour’s candidates are all local residents.
“They have pledged to defend their communities from further cuts and privatisation of essential public services and to protect and invest in society’s most vulnerable.
“Enough is enough.
“If you want someone to represent you and your interests, challenge county council decisions and speak up for you, please vote for your local Labour candidate on May 4.
“They are:
“Vincent McCabe (Bersted), Heather Robbins (Bognor Regis East), Alison Sharples (Bognor Regis West and Aldwick), Martyn Eaves (Felpham), Roger Nash (Fontwell), Linda Sheppard (Middleton) and Jan Cosgrove (Nyetimber).”
UKIP
“They say that too much power ‘corrupts’.
 “Nowhere can this more true than in politics when just one party remains endlessly in power.
“Complacency sets in and we see government detached from the very people it is supposed to serve.
“It is vital to have effective opposition to hold them to account and that is why UKIP candidates are contesting key seats around Bognor Regis.
“Without opposition, we see a chamber, where ruling councillors listen far more to their own party whip, than to the voices of the residents who elected them.
“Without such whip, UKIP councillors are free to represent residents’ interests at all times.
“In the past four years, UKIP as main opposition group, has championed a host of community causes.
“UKIP has campaigned tirelessly for the radical streamlining of local government in the county, whereby the baffling layers of councils would be combined into one efficient, leaner – and much cheaper – unitary authority.
“Similar counties around the country have already achieved this and savings of around £20 million per year could be materialised here in West Sussex.
“For residents, this means that the constant cutbacks to services could be minimised.
“Despite the good and well-proven sense in this, the ruling party here have resisted it completely.
“Maybe they are scared of putting some of their own party chums out of councillor roles?
“UKIP has a full manifesto of local policies and seeks your support now, so that we can hold the county council to account and get a much better deal for the people of West Sussex.
“UKIP candidates around Bognor Regis on May 4 are:
“Ruth Kenward (Bersted), Chloe Watson (Bognor Regis East), Matilda Watson (Bognor Regis West and Aldwick), Tricia Wales (Fontwell), Yusuf Ali (Middleton) and Michael Warden (Nyetimber).”

 

 

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