30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, March 13, 1981.

WITH most of the Horsham area still reeling from a Budget which sent motorists rushing to queue for petrol and drinkers off to drown their sorrows, their MP Peter Hordern is asking them to realise it was necessary.

His is one of the few voices on any side to be raised in support of the measures Tuesday’s Budget contained and even he says he ‘greatly regrets’ they had to be taken.

“I think the measures were absolutely necessary if the Government is to maintain its central priority which is to control inflation,” he said.

“In my opinion they were necessary only because of the Government’s failure so far to control its own expenditure particularly in the wages and salaries it has paid out this year to its employees.”

Mr Hordern said this was why the current seven per cent offer to civil servants was so important and if it were accepted it would mean the Government would be able later to make more money available for industry and business generally.

He said he welcomed the reduction in interest rates, the measures taken to help small business, the help to the handicapped and disabled and the increase in child benefit.

IF THERE is to be any opening ceremony for the Steyning-Bramber-Beeding bypass it is likely to be confined to a handful of children being taken through the site in a Land Rover and then given some light refreshments in a resident engineer’s office.

At today’s meeting of West Sussex County Council’s roads and transportation committee members will be told that a press report had said that Upper Beeding Parish Council is to ask if children can take part in the opening ceremony of the bypass which is due to open near the end of May.

But the county surveyor, Keith Williams, points out in his report that over the past few years the county council has not arranged formal opening ceremonies for major contracts, because of the significant financial and staff resources usually involved.

THOUSANDS of books are being stolen from West Sussex libraries every year and in Horsham alone, 7,500 books have been lost since 1972.

Although catalogue errors may account for some of the missing books, many volumes which have vanished from libraries in the county are ‘irreplaceable’.

County librarian Roy Huse told the library and archives committee that the percentage annual loss rate at libraries where stock-taking had been carried out was under two per cent.

This would compare with something like 15 per cent in a supermarket.

“No-one likes to lose any material in their charge whether a private or public authority,” Mr Huse commented.

“But when you consider we are an open access service for the vast majority of our stock, and bearing in mind the high rate of loss which supermarket businesses build into their costings, our loss rates are quite encouraging.

“They reflect how lucky we are in West Sussex compared with some other parts of the country.”