the pork-bolter
No 56, September 2003

Campaigners call protest over council betrayal

Titnore Stitch-Up

SLIPPERY Worthing Borough Council is preparing to stab the people of Durrington in the back and give the go-ahead to the Titnore housing nightmare. And it is so scared of the massive opposition to the West Durrington development that it has decided not to stage any public meetings on this vital issue, where people could voice their anger. An 'exhibition' being held at the planning department’s HQ in Portland House, Richmond Road, Worthing (hardly handy for Durrington residents!) is a disgrace - just a couple of leaflets pinned up on a notice board in the foyer. This pointless display is coming to Durrington itself for just one day, on Saturday September 13, with just one councillor due to be on duty to defend the council’s position.

The ruling Liberal Democrats came to power at the town hall in 2002 partly because they said they would take the side of the people against the developers over the proposed Titnore development, as well as on the Asda issue. But now - surprise, surprise! - leader Sheila Player, executive member Bob Smytherman and their cronies have turned out to be just like any other politicians that ever lived.

However, they will not be getting it all their own way. Campaigners are insistent that local people SHOULD and WILL have their say on the council’s planned sell-out. POW! (Protect Our Woodland!), the group behind last year’s massive protests against the scheme, has announced that it will be doing what the council has failed to do and will be holding its own public meeting and protest outside the council’s cop-out exhibition at Durrington Community Centre on Saturday September 13, at 12 noon. John Clarke of POW! invited people to bring banners and placards expressing their views, so the council could be in no doubt as to what the people of Durrington and Worthing think of the development. He said the meeting was essential to allow people to have their say in the face of the council’s efforts to bury the whole Titnore issue. And he stressed that the meeting would be going ahead, whether or not the authorities wanted it to. Mr Clarke explained: "When we held the big demonstration last year, we saw a a concerted effort to frighten people off attending and stop them having their say. But we will not be intimidated and we do not believe the people of Worthing are prepared to be intimidated. "If it gives the go-ahead to this development, Worthing Borough Council will be making a complete laughing stock of democracy. We’re going to have to show them what democracy means!"

He also revealed that POW! was launching a "stock exchange" attack on the three firms involved in the development consortium - Heron (run by convicted crook Gerald Ronson) Persimmon and Bryant Homes (part of Taylor Woodrow). He suggested their share prices could be "severely dented" by the mass protests and site occupations that would be unleashed if the scheme was given the go-ahead."This would seriously eat into the millions of pounds these businesses hope to make out of destroying our countryside, hand in hand with the traitors at Worthing council."

To contact POW! send an email or go to the POW! website


What exactly is happening?

ALTHOUGH no new planning application has been submitted for the Titnore area, there has clearly been a lot of talking going on behind the scenes over the last year. Worthing council has now issued a "development brief" outlining how it would like the greenfield site to be developed! So much for saving the countryside and this vital green lung for Worthing! Next step is obviously for the developers to put in a plan that amazingly happens to fit in exactly with what the development brief sets out, so the council can wave it through and let in the bulldozers... The council 'exhibition' runs at Portland House (near Worthing library) until October 24 (Monday to Friday only) and you can pick up comment forms to fill in and send back. You can also ask for a copy of the actual development brief. Alternatively, email your views to wdbrief@worthing.gov.uk

Borough not so thorough

OOPS! Worthing Borough Council’s development brief for Titnore/West Durrington contains a real clanger. The Somerset family’s well known Holt Farm north of the A27 is described as "Home Farm". This kind of attention to detail really does highlight the competence of the council’s planners as custodians of Worthing’s heritage...

Give us our say!

Protest/Public Meeting

12 noon, Saturday September 13

Durrington Community Centre

Tesco complex, New Road


Asda truth sunk in?

THE SAME tricks crop up every time the money-making sharks and corrupt councils want to steamroller over public opinion. Opponents of the Asda/WalMart scheme to build a new supermarket on the Worthing Sixth Form College playing fields - another part of the master plan to ruin the Durrington area - have been quick to call attention to the latest attempted con. Asda sent out a leaflet to residents called "Initiative Worthing" in which they asked people to choose from three "options" - all of which were in favour of their plans. There was no option to vote against their new store altogether - which is obviously what a huge number of residents would like to do! This kind of manipulation is not only an affront to democracy, but also a real insult to the intelligence of ordinary people. Do the rich and powerful really think we’re all a bunch of dim peasants who can’t see through pathetic tricks like that? Exactly the same thing happens with our political system. We are given three or more "options" as to who we would like to rule over us. But the option of true democracy, of making decisions about our communities and our futures ourselves, is never offered. Funny how fewer and fewer of us ever bother voting any more, isn’t it?

* Contact the anti-Asda Field Place Residents Association at 43 Bolsover Road, Worthing, or go to www.fpara.org.uk


Lethal force on the air in Sussex

LOW LEVELS of competence and low-level intimidation of the general public are standard offerings from Sussex Police. But now the force is also about to bombard us with high levels of radiation from its latest "Tetra" communication system. Worthing planners have already chucked out two bids to put one of the controversial new masts at Worthing FC’s Woodside Road ground. However, the threat has only just begun, with West Sussex braced for at least 89 Tetra applications in coming weeks, including some near schools. This is because the government is using a dodgy "private finance initiative" to pay £2.9 billion over 19 years for a subsidiary of mobile phone company 02, to put up 3,000 Tetra masts across the UK. Reported the West Sussex Gazette (August 21): "Campaigners warn that its effects are potentially more lethal than mobile phone transmitters, claiming the Tetra pulse rate of 17.6 hertz matches the electro-magnetic signals in the human brain, causing migraine, hallucinations, disorientation, sleeplessness, itchy skin, body warming and, they allege, tumours, leukaemia and other cancers." The newspaper is so alarmed at the risks that it has launched a campaign against the police Tetra masts, warning: "We are cast as guinea pigs in a sinister experiment, the outcome of which may be grim indeed."

* Victims of crime in Worthing who find the police are less than enthusiastic about responding to their call for help, will be reassured to know that the force has plenty of resources to harass the town’s famous cannabis cafes and those using them. Several riot vans and seven or eight police at a time were regularly to be seen in Victoria Road last month, with cafe customers whisked off for strip searches on leaving the premises. It has been acknowledged by police that at least £100,000 has been wasted on trying to close down the cafes. What is the point? People who enjoy cannabis will continue to be able to get hold of it and smoke it, as they did before the cafes opened. If anyone around Worthing is dangerously out of their heads, it’s the police.


Terror for sale in the UK

THIS month, Europe’s biggest arms fair is being held in London, with plenty of British weapons of mass destruction on sale to rogue regimes - so one day we’ll have an excuse to invade their countries! A week of protests is being staged against the DSEi death fair in London’s docklands and a group from Worthing are travelling up on Wednesday September 10 for a blockade of the conference centre and a Reclaim the Streets party. Contact worthing@eco-action.org for more details and go to www.dsei.org for general info. Meanwhile, back in town, two more events are being lined up by the ever-dynamic Worthing Against War. On Tuesday September 16 Felicity Arbuthnot will be speaking about the USA’s concentration camp in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay at The Downview, opposite West Worthing station, from 7.45pm. Then on Saturday September 20, there will be a protest against Israel’s apartheid wall in Palestine in Montague Place, Worthing, at 2pm. A big national march against the occupation of Iraq is being held in London on Saturday September 27 and Worthing activists will be attending. Contact worthingagainstwar@yahoo.co.uk, phone 01903 206588 or go to the WAW website

Back to front logic

WEST Sussex County Council has made much over the last few years of opposing the housing quotas being imposed by the Government, which, as a Tory authority, it is happy to blame entirely on New Labour and in particular on John Prescott. So when that same Government scrapped plans for an Arundel bypass-bypass and a Worthing bypass (see Porkbolter 55), West Sussex was gifted the ideal argument. All it had to do was throw up its hands and say it could no longer take on all that extra housing, because the roads infrastructure wasn’t up to it. So what did it do? Errr, well, exactly the opposite! It decided (Worthing Herald, July 31) to make "all possible representations" to the Government to reverse its decision on the A27 road schemes, so West Sussex can go ahead with the house building it had claimed not to want to accommodate!

Older than in 1980s - shock!

A BIZARRE piece in the Worthing Herald (July 31) revealed how bible-bashing Northern Ireland politician Ian Paisley popped into the Sea Lane Cafe in Goring for some scampi and handmade tarts while apparently holidaying in Worthing. The cafe manager was quoted as commenting: "He looked older and slimmer than he did on the TV in the 80s". Maybe Dr Paisley should have been visiting the new Porkbolter Cafe just along the seafront where, thanks to the mind-warping effects of our herbal infusions and the cunning deployment of wall-to-wall distorting mirrors, he could well have come across as younger than he did 20 years ago - and a bit of a hippy. We have already had visits from a very trim-looking Elvis (what do you mean ‘dead’?), a sexy Margaret Thatcher and an honest Tony Blair. Alastair Campbell has also been telling people you can walk in off the street and order a full Working Man’s Dinner (WMD) and we’ll have it on your plate within 45 minutes, but that’s simply not true. (Note to our more gullible readers: This is all a stupid and rather contrived joke. There is no Porkbolter cafe. We made it up. So please don’t waste your time wandering up and down Goring seafront trying to track it down.)

PORK-SCRATCHINGS

CONGRATULATIONS to Beeches Avenue residents for seeing off plans to build 90 houses on the edge of the Downs near Lyons Farm - developers Hargreaves have abandoned their appeal. And the Beeches Avenue campaigners can in turn give a nod of appreciation to the Arundel bypass protesters who helped scupper plans for upgrading the A27 across West Sussex. Offington councillor Reg Green told the Worthing Herald (July 31): "Their case has been strengthened by this government abandoning the Worthing bypass scheme." East Worthing MP Tim Loughton was also getting in on the Beeches Avenue celebration act, despite opposing the decision to scrap the bypass! We are fascinated by the Tories’ new-found enthusiasm for "people power". Can we now expect to see Tim’s West Worthing counterpart Peter Bottomley join the campaign to halt the West Durrington development? Or would that be taking democracy too far?
* * *

MICHAEL Ball, former chief executive of Worthing Borough Council, has withdrawn his planning application to have his home in Pembury Road, Worthing, demolished and replaced by flats, following our report last month. But local residents who campaigned against the proposal are not standing down yet, as they fear another application, perhaps designed to be more acceptable to Mr Ball’s former colleagues, could be on the way.
* * *

WORTHING Borough Council is such a well-run and popular local authority that we just can’t believe the rumours reaching us that chief executive Sheryl Grady and council leader Sheila Player are daggers drawn and constantly battling for power! Scurrilous tittle-tattle or the horrible truth about the people entrusted to run our town - who knows?
* * *

WORTHING Animal Aid is holding an Autumn Fair on Saturday October 25, instead of its usual Christmas one, 10am to 12.30pm at Heene Community Centre, 122 Heene Road, Worthing.
* * *

NEWS from local dissident groups. Worthing eco-action’s next meeting is on Tuesday October 7, 7.45pm, upstairs at The Downview pub opposite West Worthing station. And Worthing Anarchists have unveiled a new website
* * *

THE tenth and, sadly, final issue of a mighty Sussex publication has just been brought out. Do or Die, to quote its own blurb, "is a journal crammed with reports and analysis from the worldwide ecological frontlines". At nearly 400 pages, it is a real snip for just £5 - and this last issue has a must-read analysis of past and future struggles. Send cheques payable to "Do or Die" c/o Prior House, 6 Tilbury Place, Brighton. Info on their website
* * *

ANYONE who remotely remembers being a child will recall how the thought of those long dreamy summer holidays could sustain you through the dullest and darkest hours of winter grind. But now the authorities want to do away with the long summer break and "rationalise" the school year into six terms. You can defend the summer holidays by filling in a form in West Sussex County Council’s Connections magazine, issue 14, or by going to http://wsgfl.westsussex.gov.uk Phone for info on 01243 777445.

Warning: invasion threat

"OUTSIDE agitators" may be attending the Titnore protest in Durrington on September 13, Worthing police have warned. Said Chief Inspector Nick Emmall of the crack Anti-Subversion Squad: "Following the 2002 protests, where persons arrested were found to have travelled from far-distant Worthing, we are expecting a similar pattern to emerge. Our intelligence suggests protesters may be bussed in from as far away as Goring and Salvington, with a contingent of hard-core ramblers expected to travel across from the Ferring area. We must remain ever vigilant to the threat of democracy."

Hogging the headlines

The Pork-Bolter is a totally independent local newsletter. No Tetra-style microwaves are involved in the printing process and reading these words will not give you a horrible fatal disease - unless you’re a police officer. To get the next six issues through the post send a donation of at least £3 payable to The Porkbolter. Drop us a line at PO Box 4144, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 7NZ. Send e-mail to porkbolter@eco-action.org. e-mail subscriptions are also available.

Printed and published by The Pork-Bolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no more summer freedom for our kids?


and finally ...
Reclaim Your Town, Reclaim Your Life!

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