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Issue 18 - July 1999

MONSTER-GUE PLACE!

WHAT is the worse kind of vandal? Someone who smashes up a bus shelter or park bench because they are bored or somebody who destroys a whole town because they can make a load of money out of it? That’s the question brought once again to the forefront of Worthing people’s minds with the announcement of the hideous and outrageous plans to ruin Montague Place. Two rival bidders, contesting a bizarre land ownership row, have both spotted that here is a bit of open space in the town centre. Somewhere you can actually breathe and look out towards the sea. So they have decided to cover it with shops in another porkin’ commercial development aimed at lining the pockets of the few at the expense of the rest of us who share this town. Reported the Worthing Guardian on June 4: One of the last features of Old Worthing will disappear if the go-ahead is given for a controversial shops and pedestrianisation scheme in Montague Place. The Worthing Society is opposing the £1.5 million plan... It would mean the width of the entrance from Montague Street to Montague Place being cut by half and retail floorspace of up to 16,000 square feet being built alongside the blank wall on the west side of Woolworth’s. Worthing has seen it all before, of course. The multi-storey car park on the seafront, the Guildbourne Centre replacing unique streets of ancient cottages, Teville Gate - and now the planned Multipox. Anyone here remember the late Frank Kenton? There’s always a quick buck to be made out of 'modernising' the urban environment. As usual, both would-be developers seem confident they have the council on board and eager to allow the nightmare of Monster-gue Place to become reality. But, along with Worthing Society, groups like Worthing Friends of the Earth and Worthing Green Party are firmly against the plans. We join them in calling for the people of Worthing to speak out against this disastrous scheme. Defy the business mafias and save our Worthing heritage!

Doing his Neville best ...

WE think we have spotted a familiar name in the details of the original bid to build over Montague Place. The applicants are listed as CR and NJ Pressley. Good heavens! Could NJ Pressley possibly be the same Neville Pressley who was appointed chairman of the board of Worthing Homes Ltd after the borough council bulldozed through its privatisation of our council housing? Could this be the same Neville Pressley who is a director of Spofforths Chartered Accountants? And finance director of Pressley’s the jewellers? And who chairs the management committee of Worthing MIND? And who is vice-chair of the board of governors at Northbrook College? Surely only a man possessed of superhuman powers could even dream of taking on such a raft of responsibilities? And still find time to redesign Worthing town centre! To clear all this up, we have written to Mr Pressley as follows: Dear Mr Neville Pressley, Are you really one of the applicants behind the Montague Place scheme? How do you find the time for all your good works? And, while we’re at it, could you confirm for us, on the record, that you are definitely NOT a Freemason? PS: We have reserved a space for your reply in our next issue.

Big Brother Focused on Sussex

ONCE again our Big Brother’s Birthday message against police surveillance on the streets has been backed up with news reports hitting the media. Last year it emerged just before our June protest that crime in Worthing had actually gone up in the two years since CCTV had been installed! This year, no fewer than two separate stories helped to support our efforts out on the streets on June 26 to warn people of the menace posed by the spy cameras. Firstly, the front page of The Argus a.m. on June 2 was devoted to a story headlined 'Spies Like Us' We are CCTV capital of the UK, says new report. It explained: People in Sussex are the most watched anywhere in the UK, according to a report on security cameras out today. With an extra 35 cameras currently being installed to bring five more Sussex towns under the eyes of police, the total value of schemes now exceeds £6 million. There are more than 230 police cameras operating in 22 towns, the largest integrated police-controlled system in the nation. Second item was in the Scots-based Sunday Mail on June 27. A police worker has been sacked for allegedly using security cameras to spy on women. David Henderson, 43, is claimed to have used a town centre CCTV system to zoom in on young women and follow them through the streets. His sacking comes two years after he was cleared of a sex charge. Last night, critics of CCTV said it confirmed their worst fears about ‘Big Brother’ cameras, reported the paper.

United in Quest for More Money

TOP fictional footballers Montague United will not be defending the Worthing Satire Cup next season, they have announced, as it clashes with the prestigious G&J Waste Disposal Kick-Around in far-off Bognor. Said United manager Arthur McBribe: I’d like to point out that we are doing this for the greater glory of Worthing, but I can’t because it isn’t true. At the end of the day it’s just about cash and sod everything else.

PORKY PIE'S TIP OF THE MONTH

How to be Quids In!
  1. TYPE THE WORD 'WORTHING' ON A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER.
  2. DRAW THREE COLOURED CRAYON STROKES UNDERNEATH IT.
  3. CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE JUST INVENTED THE WORTHING MARQUE! COLLECT THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF COUNCIL TAX PAYERS’ CASH!

Green Light for Merriment!

DON’T WORRY! There is an alternative in Worthing to the ugly obsession with commercial development and big money deals. And there are a couple of opportunities to get involved with this healthy community scene in the coming months. First in line is Children’s Day in South Street Square, Worthing, on Saturday August 21, 10am to 5pm. This will feature juggling, face painting, street theatre, stilt walking, balloon painting and musicians. It has been organised by Worthing Town Centre Initiative and voluntary groups including Worthing Friends of the Earth. Even bigger and better is Worthing Green Fair a major fun event on the town calendar to be held on Saturday September 4 from 12 noon to 11pm at the Field of Hope, Beach House Green, Brighton Road, next to the Aquarena on Worthing seafront. Our Environment, Our Community, Our Future is the vision for the day and there will stuff for children and adults alike, including a cafe, music, information stalls, displays, workshops and circus skills. Meanwhile organisers Worthing Friends of the Earth have issued the following wish list marquees, entertainers, display boards, workshop leaders, artists, campaign groups, performers, voluntary groups, healers, musicians, art and craft materials, garden plants and herbs in pots, banners and backdrops, rugs, cushions, dancers, money, clowns. I

Press here for Secret Monopoly

YOU won’t have read this in the local papers, but most of the press in the Worthing area and indeed across West Sussex is now in the hands of one Big Business group. Johnston Press plc, a fast-expanding company based in Edinburgh (that’s in Scotland for those who didn’t know - maybe it’s us that should be demanding independence from them!) has just taken over Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers plc. This means it now has its hands on titles such as The West Sussex Gazette and the Chichester Observer, as well as existing assets such as the Worthing Herald, Worthing Guardian, Worthing Advertiser, Shoreham Herald, Shoreham Guardian, Littlehampton Gazette, Littlehampton Guardian, West Sussex County Times, Storrington Advertiser, Horsham Advertiser, Mid-Sussex Times. . . Can this be right? Surely the monopolies and mergers people (now the Competition Commission) would have something to say about all this? Seems not! Meanwhile, underpaid staff and overcharged customers alike will be pleased to hear that Johnston Press plc last year made a heart-warming £50 million profit and that chief executive Tim Bowdler raked in a well-deserved £240,000 salary. Try writing in a letter to your caring, crusading local paper (any one, take your pick!) commenting on this particular shock horror scandal and see how far you get!

Stop that Monkeying Around

THINKING caps on, folks, for a special Porky Pie challenge! One of the following is from a real reader’s letter in the Worthing Herald, the other is a spoof. Can you tell which is true and which is false? A) I am writing to enquire if any readers remember a house on Worthing seafront where there were some very small monkeys, which one could give/feed peanuts to. The nuts were placed in a small tin, which the chained monkeys pulled up on a string to the end of the ramp on which it was sitting. Oh, for the days when you could sit in the bandstand on a deck chair with a rug over your knees and listen to the various well-known bands in the summer months. All very sedate and peaceful in those days: I don’t remember any disturbances from rough lads either. B) I am writing to enquire if any readers remember a house in Worthing where there lived a tame rhinoceros. It used to stick its massive horn out of a ground floor window and allow children to swing from it if they fed it Mint Imperials through a hand-made china funnel. In the summer months, Worthing children used to perform tea dances on the promenade, with rugs balanced on their heads. Unfortunately that all came to an end after the Mad Rhinoceros Tea Dance Massacre in the late 1920s. Wonderful days.

Squeaking about the Fear of Crime

FEAR of crime is an important part of Big Brother Britain - why else would any sane person put up with spy cameras? And it is now going to surreal extremes. Reported the Worthing Guardian on May 28: When a Findon woman reported hearing noises downstairs, to Sussex Police patrol cars with two-man crew, a police dog unit and the Force helicopter responded to the midnight 999 call. The woman, calling controllers from her upstairs bedroom, refused to leave the safety of her room. After a while officers were allowed entry and searched the house. A mouse was discovered and removed.

Benefits of some Porkin’ Publicity!

REMEMBER the bureau-pratic Catch 22 situation we highlighted in the last issue, where a homeless young Worthing couple could not get a tenancy agreement without a letter from the housing benefit people and the housing benefit people would not give them a letter until they had a tenancy agreement? Well, the couple now tell us it has all been resolved - thanks to the publicity we gave the case. For once, we are glad to say, common sense has prevailed!

Carnival against Hypocrisy

A CONTINGENT of Worthing campaigners travelled up to the City of London on Friday June 18 to join the Carnival Against Capitalism, part of a worldwide protest against the G8 conference. The Worthing folk joined the massive 10,000-strong Reclaim the Streets parade, taking the message straight to the corrupt heart of the money-men’s empire that people and the planet must come before profits. In the finest tradition of English protest (Peasants’ Revolt, Swing Riots, Luddites, Suffragettes etc) the fun was combined with a certain amount of symbolic damage to City institutions (and McDollar’s!) and London’s thuggish riot cops caused further conflict by trying to break up the protest. The reaction of the media was laughable, if predictable. Serbia’s undoubted crimes against Kosovo apparently merited the brutal full-scale destruction of their country and the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. The global financiers’ undoubted crimes against humanity, however, do not seem to count in the same way and a few broken windows apparently put the perpetrators completely beyond the pale. Hypocrisy? We rather think so.

Pig out the truth from the lies!

THE PORK-BOLTER is an independent newsletter produced by and for ordinary Worthing people and is named after an ancient term once applied to residents of this sunny seaside paradise. We support no political party and our aims are to cut through the hypocrisy, cant and spin-doctoring of the politicians and their chums, expose what they are really up to and explain in a calm and lucid manner why they should all be chucked off the end of the pier with bricks stuffed down their underwear.

Put Yourself in the Pig-ture!

IF you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 19, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next 6 issues send a donation of at least £2 to cover costs. Copies of back issues are still available. Cheques/postal orders made payable to The Pork-Bolter. email subscriptions also available. These are free, but a donation from time to time would be appreciated. It ain’t easy you know. Drop us a line: porkbolter@eco-action.org or PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 7NZ. website: http://www.eco-action.org/porkbolter

PORK SCRATCHINGS

WORTHING Borough Council proudly launched its 'Worthing Marque' last month. This totally pathetic attempt at a logo, which would not win runners-up prize in a playgroup art competition, will undoubtedly have involved a huge amount of council tax-payers’ money going to some corporate design consultant - we are still trying to find out exactly how much. Meanwhile, for the price of an extra letter ‘e’ they could have turned the marque into a large tent for the town’s homeless to sleep in.
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TWO election victories in as many months! The snowball effect from our Don’t Vote campaign for the council elections meant we didn’t even have to campaign against the Euro elections but still gathered a staggering 76.2% of the regional vote. With that sort of proportion across the continent, The Pork-Bolter would be entitled to hundreds of piggy MEPs. Just imagine the Euro Parliament full of Euro-swine, all eagerly stuffing their snouts into the trough of Euro-cash ... Oh, hang on a minute. That seems to have already happened. On the subject of elections, we neglected in our last issue to say a couple of words about Sheila Player, queen of the council house privatisation, who lost her seat on the council in May. So here are they are now: HA! HA!
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MYSTERY surrounds Worthing Borough Council’s study into cycling provision in the town. Money was apparently put aside by the county council and the cycle group Sustrans commissioned to do a report, but nothing has been heard since! Two letters written by the Green Party to the borough on the issue have bizarrely been lost! Contact the Greens’ Lucie Colkett luciecolkett@yahoo.co.uk to get campaigning.
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FREE video nights upstairs at Paiges Bar on Worthing seafront are now being held on the first Tuesday of each month, 7.30pm. Next date is August 3 for the feature film Zapata, starring Marlon Brando in a tale of Mexican peasant uprising.

Warning: Ignore all Dissident Views

THE MINISTRY of Freedom would like to point out that, contrary to the impression created by unauthorised publications promoting dissident agendas, surveillance cameras enjoy enormous popularity in the UK. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the Department of Propaganda is currently working on 14 new prime time TV series featuring the effectiveness of CCTV. Statistics show that 77% of 4 to 9 year olds in the North-East and South-West would welcome CCTV cameras in their school for 37.6 minutes of every hour, 88% of 96 to 103 year olds with double-glazing would like to see CCTV installed in their bathroom within three days, 98% of 32 to 46 year olds who shop at Tesco say CCTV cameras have saved them from being beheaded on eight or more occasions, and 113% of digital TV subscribers aged over 46 in the Wolverhampton and Maidstone areas believe the death penalty should be reinstated for repeated failure to comply with Government averages.
and finally ... Reclaim Worthing - put people before profits!