Going away may be more difficult this year, but there has been lots going on here, even while we haven’t been able to have meetings.
What’s been going on?
During lockdown there have been lots of things happening locally that we can all promote and support
Black Lives Matter – we are passionate about equality. Did you know Sussex Police stop and search proportionately more Black people than other ethnic groups, by a ratio of about 10:1.
At the Worthing Black Lives Matter protest, our Gaisford councillor, Henna Chowdhury spoke and she and Worthing West councillor, Sally Smith tabled an amendment to the BLM motion at the recent Council meeting to make it more robust.
Covid response – lots of members have been involved in delivering leaflets for the mutual aid groups and foodbank – this was particularly speedy and support groups were in place before the Council got up and running. Members are involved in running those things.
The local Food Foundation, in East Worthing is now sending out food each week to about 80 families. They are now sending children’s lunch packs to fill the gap over the holidays.
If you would like to donate food or other items they are at the church in Pendine Avenue BN11 2NA, every Tuesday and Thursday for donations. There are also collection bins and lists of things that are needed in many of the supermarkets in Worthing.
We have been looking at local amenities that we could protect. Our assets of community value – by which we mean any asset that helps form the social fabric of our community such as pubs, parks, telephone boxes, community centres more – are under threat.
We could lose many of them over the next few years due to the effects of coronavirus and austerity.
If we map them and register them with the council, we will be informed when they are at risk. We can then take steps to make sure our community assets continue to be used for the good of the community.
Councillors have challenging the council on its investment policy.
Did you know? Amount council has invested millions of pounds in property in other areas of the country. Many councils have done this as a way of helping finances after losing so much of their grant from Central Government. But our councillors think it is a very risky strategy.
If we were in control the Labour group would be promoting investment in local projects. This investment pays off in terms of jobs and work created for local businesses which can get the whole local economy moving.
Councillor Question Time
Did you know – we have now got 10 Labour councillors on Worthing Borough Council. We aim to increase this number as soon as we have local elections, with the aim of making decisions that positively impact on all residents in Worthing.
From September there will be a monthly zoom meeting to hear from Worthing Borough Labour councillors. The first one will be on September 9th. Look out for an e-mail giving Zoom login details.
We are hoping to have elections for the Borough Council next May. The Labour group are formulating a programme for Worthing that we would implement if we gained control of the Council. It is an exciting new look at driving Worthing forward positively to recover from the pandemic. More of this as we get towards the election time.
However, before that we will need lots of you lovely people involved in getting our message out locally. There will be lots to do. We are not allowed to meet in person, hold street surgeries or go door knocking but we will have leaflets to deliver and we will continue our successful listening campaign by phone.
Please get in touch if you are interested in helping. The East Worthing branch of the Labour party is a welcoming, friendly bunch of people. We don’t agree about everything, but we are all focussed on gaining more council seats so that our voice gets heard more often.
Take care and I hope we can meet up again soon,
Chair, East Worthing Branch.