30 years ago

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From the West Sussex County Times of Friday, November 11, 1983.

Moves to turn Horsham District into a borough with a mayor are likely to fail when the council meets to consider the issue.

Of councillors who vote on the proposal, two thirds must be in favour before the Queen can be petitioned to grant borough status to the district.

If all 42 members of the council were to vote, 28 votes for borough status would be needed before steps are taken.

The County Times survey among councillors revealed that the necessary two thirds majority is unlikely to be achieved.

Of 36 councillors contacted, only 12 said they were certain or nearly certain to vote for borough status, while 18 said they were certain or nearly certain to vote against it.

The remaining six said they were still undecided.

If all the councillors who said they were likely to vote against the proposal do so, they would leave the pro-borough status lobby four votes short of the number needed, even if it gained the votes of all six councillors currently undecided plus the eight not contacted in the survey.

Councillors will be asked then if they want to change the name of the district to ‘Horsham and Chanctonbury’ before they decide on the borough status itself.

The proposed name change is seen as a way of giving the southern end of the district recognition in a new title.

Villagers in Sayers Common and Albourne were shocked to discover the long awaited A23 bypass has now been put back to 1987.

Groups have been campaigning for the bypass of the two villages since 1977. In a White Paper issued in 1981, 1984/85 was put forward as a starting date for construction.

According to a new White Paper, work is not expected to start until two years later.

Mid Sussex MP Tim Renton has been asking questions in Parliament about the delayed starting date.

“I have been told it is in the programme from 1987 onwards by Linda Chalker, the Transport Minister,” he said.

He said he would make more enquiries because it was important to know the possible completion date.

Sayers Common and Albourne residents were divided on the question of the bypass, he claimed.

“But, obviously, most want it built as soon as possible and I support them.”

A Department of Transport spokesman said the 1984/85 starting date had only been provisional and was not definite.

The scheme is part of a number of improvements planned for the A23 from Bolney to Brighton.

The image of Sussex as a rich and privileged part of the country is wrong – the two counties are now an area of real need.

The warning came from Sir John Barnes when he spoke at the annual meeting, in Henfield, of the Sussex Rural Community Council.

Sir John commented: “We are working closely with the local authorities in the field of rural development, particularly the alleviation of unemployment.

“We are hopeful that our initiatives may bear fruit for the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”

The past year had included an announcement by the Manpower Services Commission of a new scheme to replace the Youth Opportunities Programme.

SRCC had had discussions with the commission about the new Youth Training Scheme.

It had seemed possible that a suitable scheme for the two counties might be developed.

“But,” he said, “despite a considerable amount of work and detailed planning having been done, the MSC eventually decided that the complications of running such a scheme in rural areas would be too great and we have abandoned plans to take part in the project.”