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FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, January 23, 1981.

THE INADEQUACIES of Horsham District Council’s council chamber in the Town Hall in Market Square were once again the subject of complaint during a meeting of the council’s finance and general purposes committee.

The committee was reviewing its maintenance programme for its offices, which included the carpeting of the council chamber in the next financial year at an estimated cost of £2,080.

Members who have frequently complained of poor acoustics in the council chamber, were in two minds as to whether the laying of carpet would make the problem better or worse.

Fred Shepherd said that either way he thought that some form of voice amplification system was going to be necessary. “I recall one member,” he said, “who left two or three years ago and I don’t think anybody ever heard him at all!”

Mrs Hannelore West said: “If you are speaking away from someone, it is very difficult for them to hear you.”

Brian Bilton, the council’s director of technical services, thought that the problem might be overcome by the introduction of tiered seating in the chamber.

The problems of the acoustics of the council chamber were highlighted again two days later when on Wednesday a special joint meeting of two of the council’s major committees was held there.

PROPOSED Government cuts in overseas aid to poor countries have been deplored by Upper Beeding Baptist Church.

Members have complained to Shoreham MP Richard Luce and urged assistance for more training of nations in agricultural and technical skills.

Members of the church recently joined with other churches in the area to consider in detail the Brandt Report. The letter to Mr Luce also presses for an increase in overseas aid to the levels recommended in the report.

It says: “We are surprised that the Government seems to have given scant recognition so far to the recommendations of the Brandt Report, nor even helped the nation at large to understand the implications of the report.”

Concern is expressed that overseas aid has already been cut and the fear that the Government will plan to reduce aid still further, three or four times more than reductions applied to other areas of public expenditure.

The letter points out that the affairs of the nation should be managed in a similar manner to that of a family who use resources to maintain ‘family existence, to provide for our future responsibilities and to share our wealth through a charitable attitude to the needs of others’.

A NEW branch of the anti-nuclear group Survival Action Movement could soon be set up in Horsham.

The group originated in Burgess Hill and now has an active branch in Billingshurst with about 250 members.

Their aim is to make people in the area aware of the horrific consequences of a nuclear attack, in particular one on Gatwick, and to encourage people to protest about the escalating arms race.

To illustrate their point, the film ‘The War Game’ was shown at Horsham Town Hall to about 80 people. The film, which was banned by the BBC in the 1960s when it was made, and is still banned, is a dramatisation of what could happen in the event of a nuclear attack.

These days, the film is often criticised for being out of date and members of Survival Action Movement agree that it is, as the weapons now in existence are capable of much greater devastation than those shown in the film.