back to main index
main index
the pork-bolter back issues index
back issues
Issue 30 - September 2000

Aquarena and Montague Place show that Worthing folk are being BETRAYED BY THE COUNCIL

NEW homes built all over the Aquarena and the popular paddling pool? Shops and offices covering over the refreshing open space of Montague Place? Virtually nobody in Worthing would want to see either of these nightmares come true, and yet both are being actively pursued by corrupt Worthing Borough Council and its chums in the building business drooling over lucrative deals. Such has been the anger over the proposals to close the Aquarena and paddling pool, that there are talks of a council 'U-turn'. But it is interesting that Patricia Farrell, chairman of the council’s leisure services committee only dared tell The Worthing Guardian (August 4): "We are nowhere near a decision on this vital issue", rather than a more reassuring and binding "We will definitely not go ahead against the wishes of the public." Don’t be surprised if the council lies low for a while, waits for the fuss to die down and then puts in a new, slightly modified plan. This is the sort of game it has played in Montague Place, where, after massive protests, applications were withdrawn. Instead, the focus was switched to designating the area for development in the Local Plan, a suggestion not revised in the new draft, despite further objections. And, surprise, surprise, on August 19 we spotted building firm workers out measuring the open space... Whatever happened to the 'key priority' published by the council (Worthing Herald, July 13) of "ensuring public opinion is taken into account when major decisions are made?" Was it some kind of sick joke?

Never trust a politician!

WHEN it was announced that Worthing Homes, controllers of Worthing’s privatised council housing, was to be a charity, a lot of people might have assumed this meant it was going to be doing some good for our community. Sadly, though, it seems that the recipients of its charity are not to be its long-suffering tenants, or desperate homeless people in the borough, but Worthing Homes’ own staff! The Worthing Herald revealed (August 3 and 10) that Worthing Homes spent more than £900 in paying for 17 staff plus 10 wives and husbands to attend the Mayor’s Ball! Head of the queue to condemn Worthing Homes was Lib Dem Sheila Player, who fumed: "Worthing Homes would have been better off spending the money on the properties than going to the Mayor’s Ball. The state of some of them is abysmal." Could this possibly be the same Sheila Player who, three years ago, was at the forefront of the council’s pro-privatisation propaganda drive? The same Sheila Player who promised that private landlords Worthing Homes would provide the answer to the 'abysmal' state of housing? Yes, it is! And will she now put her hand up and admit that she was wrong and we were right all along? We doubt it somehow - she is a politician, after all! * Readers will not be surprised to learn that we have received no acknowledgment, let alone reply, to the letter we sent Worthing Borough Council asking if all its employees would be treated as generously as Chief Executive Michael Ball, who received a £100,000 lump sum on his early retirement and a £32,000 a year pension for life. They are clearly continuing the tradition, established by Mr Ball, of pretending that people who ask awkward questions, like your Pork-Bolter, simply do not exist. Mr Ball, you may recall, actually wrote to tell us he would henceforth ignore all our correspondence! Meanwhile, both the council and Worthing Homes have referred our sister paper the Worthing Herald to the Press Complaints Commission for having the cheek to report on issues these smug bodies would rather not have aired. Like most 'authorities' they don’t care about the public’s views (see above) and they don’t want the public to know what they’re doing. And they wonder why nobody has any confidence in them any more?

Blair protects animal-torturers

A SINISTER new law is about to be introduced by New Labour in a bid to protect corporate animal torturers from the anger of the public. Reported The Guardian on September 15: "The government is expected to make it a criminal offence to publicise the names or addresses of scientists, bankers and shareholders involved in drug testing on animals as part of a wider crackdown on animal rights militants." Yes, that’s right, a criminal offence to reveal a piece of information, not to act upon it in any way. And, yes, that is names or addresses. Given all its hype about being the animal lovers’ party before the 1997 election, you might have thought New Labour would instead be making it a criminal offence to experiment on animals! It’s the same old story. At the same time as the state is bringing in more and legislation and surveillance aimed at curtailing ordinary people’s freedom (see Porkbolter issues 1-29), it is also creating a legal wall around an elite class of "scientists, bankers and shareholders" to shelter them from the consequences of their anti-social and immoral activities. And they call this democracy. * Frontline animal rights activists will be giving a talk with a video at the monthly meeting of Worthing.eco-action in the usual room at 42 Marine Parade, Worthing seafront (above Paiges) on Tuesday September 5, 7.45pm.

Buy-a-Copper Scheme

THRILLED by this summer’s national publicity about a firm that paid sponsorship money for a police patrol car and officers to help protect its premises and a nearby housing estate, we at The Pork-Bolter have decided to get in on the act. If big companies can get away with it, why shouldn’t ordinary people be able to purchase a policeman, or at least part of one? And we are so public-spirited that we have decided to issue tokens* to help you save towards the total. Two tokens will be printed in each month’s Pork-Bolter, meaning that if you wish, for example, to collect 500 tokens for a policeman’s corn plaster, it will take only 250 weeks or around 25 years to claim your prize. * Value of each token is 0.0000000000000000001p. This offer will be invalid if it turns out all the coppers in Sussex have already been bought. We reserve the right to claim the whole thing was a silly joke, honest officer, and not our idea at all.

Porky Pie’s Top Tip of the Month!

HOW TO KEEP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF AUTHORITY
  1. INDULGE ONLY IN AUTHORISED ACTIVITIES AT AUTHORISED SITES.
  2. ASSOCIATE ONLY WITH AUTHORISED PERSONS AT AUTHORISED TIMES.
  3. THINK AUTHORISED THOUGHTS, EXPRESS AUTHORISED VIEWS AND DREAM AUTHORISED DREAMS

Name of new anti-skateboard group spells it out... Worthing against Naughty Kids

LARGER than life Worthing councillor Nick John has leapt nimbly onto the latest bullshit bandwagon to roll into town. Following their foaming-at-the mouth furore over homeless people sitting on pavements and having dogs (so shocking...), Worthing’s self-righteous moral guardians have now decided to pick on young people with skateboards. Having harrassed skateboarders, BMXers and roller bladers for years and tried to drive them out of every corner of town, the authorities finally provided an 'authorised' site for them to use, in Homefield Park, complete with officially 'authorised' graffiti! But now residents and councillors are enraged to find that youngsters are actually using the new skate park and like it so much they are hanging out there with their mates, painting their own graffiti and making it their own space. Intolerable! Leading the crusade against skate-crime is Mr John, the Liberal Democrat turned Referendum Party turned UK Independence Party turned Conservative Party politician we featured in issue 28. He told The Worthing Guardian (August 18) that "gang culture" was taking over the park: "In the evenings it’s the 17 and 18-year-olds who gather there and it’s actually very scary. It’s almost like West Side Story. I think the whole facility should be enclosed and it should be shut at about 8pm each night." His words will come as boost to anti-skateboarding lobbyists Worthing Against Naughty Kids (WANK), as it campaigns to have all youngsters under the age of 21 locked indoors from 6pm to 7am and forced to watch television and plan their pension schemes. Dick Seaman, spokesman for the spunky new group, told us that the authorities could no longer turn a blind eye to the horrific problem of young people gathering together and having fun. He added: "As a merchant banker, I am often very tired in the evenings after being hard at it all day and now I cannot even walk the dog in peace." WHY do you think Nick John hates skateboarders so much? Is it perhaps because: 1. He tried to have a go on a board once and he fell off? 2. He tried to have a go on a board once and it snapped under his weight? 3. Skateboarders would never dream of voting in stupid porkin’ council elections so he doesn’t care what the little oicks think of him? 4. He doesn’t hate skateboarders at all and only has their best interests at heart? Let us know your views. Better still, let Nick John know your views! Why not drop in at his Doyle’s Coffee Shop in Goring Road for a chat and a doughnut?

Long wait for the cinema

IT was exactly a year ago in September 1999 (issue 20) that we reported here that the multiplex cinema promised for Teville Gate was not likely to materialise. On August 3 this year The Worthing Herald broke the same news. After explaining that his shop might not quit the site until 2003, Comet head of property David Morris added: "I understand the developers are struggling to find a cinema operator to occupy the site and are exploring a retail scheme." Embarrassingly for Worthing council, another of its "key priorities" (see top story) is "securing the early redevelopment of the Teville Gate site to provide a multiplex cinema. . ."

Rotarians in a warzone

SAD tidings to relate. Reported The Worthing Guardian on August 11: "Lack of new members has caused the closure of Lancing and Sompting Rotary Club, 46 years after it was founded." Something must be done to halt this alarming threat to our heritage. We suggest all remaining Rotarians should be designated Scheduled Ancient Monuments or at least preserved for posterity in formaldehyde. On the same subject, a new local group has been launched. WAR, which the bloke down the pub assured us stands for Worthing Anarchist Rotarians, is also to produce an occasional fanzine-type publication called WARZINE, which you can pick up on the anarchist stall in Montague Place on Saturday lunchtimes or send off for (enclose two first class stamps) from WAR, c/o PO Box 4144, Worthing, BN14 7NZ.

Peanuts in your pay packet

ORDINARY people in Worthing and the West Sussex coast are being ripped off by their bosses and paid peanuts for wages. This admission came from county planning officer John Kilford at a meeting in Worthing’s Richmond Room (Worthing Herald, July 27). He said there were "real problems in the coastal area" and explained: "What is particularly significant is that wages are low and the take home pay of part-time and full-time workers compares with the lowest in the country." So there you have it! And next time you read that Worthing is the "most profitable" town in Britain, remember that it is business that’s making the profits and your pocket that it is robbing to do so! * Cheer up, there’s some good news! The Guardian reported on August 22: "The pay of Britain’s top bosses rose by 16.5% last year, four times the average wage increase." And who would begrudge them that?

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

A NEW breed of eyesore is appearing in Worthing, thanks to Railtrack. The firm has put up massive prison camp-style security fences along much of the railway lin and on footbridges. But most bizarrely of all it has fenced off the car park behind Worthing station even though there is nothing to stop anyone going in or out of the entrance at any time of day or night. What can it all mean?
* * *

WORTHING’S half-hearted red cycle route has not impressed local pedallers. One of them told us: "I think it’s worse than not having one. It doesn’t get you where you want to go." And another cycling cynic even suggested the lanes were deliberately useless so the council could say nobody was using them and they could wriggle out of providing any more!
* * *

CONGRATULATIONS to all those involved in the human chain against Third World debt in South Street, Worthing, on July 22. Hopefully some of those who took part will be able to join the big protests against the IMF and World Bank in Prague in the last week of September. A useful leaflet has been brought out including details on how to travel out to Prague. Send us a stamp for a copy, pop in at Brighton Peace Centre or phone 01273 685913 for more information. Closer to home, you might like to protest against the Labour Conference on Sunday September 24, 5pm at Hove Town Hall. 07940 929565.
* * *

A REPORT back from the Prague protests is being lined up for the meeting of Worthing.eco-action on Tuesday October 3, which as usual will be at the meeting room, 42 Marine Parade, Worthing seafront (above Paiges bar), from 7.45pm. For details of September’s meeting see animal story above.
* * *

BRILLIANT American anarchist John Zerzan, editor of superb anthology Against Civilization, is giving a talk at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London on Saturday September 23 at 7.30pm. Should definitely be worth the train fare.

Democracy must not be abused

THIS newsletter may be breaking the law by naming councillors involved in local politics, warns the Ministry of Freedom. Added a spokesman: "Referring to any authorised individual in a negative context is an invitation to terrorism and cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. Democracy is a privilege which must not be abused and people should be grateful that they are allowed to vote in elections in the first place. They have no right to expect councillors to pander to their unauthorised views."

Have you got swine fever yet? - subscribe!

THE PORK-BOLTER is an unauthorised independent community newsletter for Worthing. If you want to make sure of getting a copy of issue 31, simply send us a stamped self-addressed envelope. To get the next six 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. Drop us a line: porkbolter@eco-action.org or PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 7NZ. website: http://www.eco-action.org/porkbolter

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright - ie, we give you the right to copy us, you lucky people.


and finally ... WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?