30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, December 19, 1980.

AS SOUTHWATER waits with bated breath for Monday’s county council decision on its bypass, new protests are being voiced over plans for a massive housing development in the village.

Croudace Homes wants to put up 222 new homes, along with estate roads and drainage, on land off the A24 Worthing Road in Southwater.

A similar application by Croudace was made about 18 months ago, but turned down because of the lack of access onto the A24.

Now the company is trying again and members of Horsham Rural Parish Council say they are prepared to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to stop the development going ahead.

The parish council strongly opposed the previous application and its views on the development have not changed since. It feels facilities in the village, such as the school and the roads, could not cope with the influx of people and cars the new houses will inevitably mean.

If the new bypass is given the ‘thumbs down’ at the finance and general purposes committee meeting of the West Sussex County Council on Monday, the parish council hopes that this will also mean ‘no’ to the development, and it will do its utmost to stop it.

SPENDING cuts in recent years have reduced the fire service ‘to the bone’, claims the West Sussex committee of the Fire Brigades’ Union.

They add that further cuts would have ‘serious consequences’ for the public and they would be strongly resisted by the men.

“West Sussex has never had high manpower levels and so any cut in jobs will mean an inability to maintain national minimum fire cover standards. With national fire losses of nearly £1.5m per day, further cuts in manpower will be pure economic folly,” adds a statement released by the committee.

The union comments are included in a document issued by the firemen expressing ‘sincere gratitude’ to the many people who helped in their recent pay dispute.

“We are anxious that the public should no longer be deceived by our employers’ myth that they cannot afford our pay rise.

“In fact the reduced settlement now means that ratepayers have paid more money than is actually required to meet the rise.”

THE GROWING cost of maintaining public sector services must be cut if the economy of the country is to be revived, says Horsham and Crawley MP Peter Hordern.

And he has singled out the health service, education and the water authorities as areas where wages and salaries have soared in recent years.

In the health service there were 575,000 people employed in 1961, and now there were 1.222m. Since reorganisation in 1974 the cost of wages and salaries had risen by an average of 17.6 every year.

Yet there were fewer hospital beds now than there were in 1970, he told members of the Horsham and Crawley Divisional Conservative Association.

The numbers employed in education have risen from 785,000 in 1961 to 1.5m in 1980. And the numbers who neither lecture nor teach had risen from 90,000 to 670,000.

Wages and salaries in the local authorities had risen by an average of 18.2 per cent every year for the last five years. And in the case of the water authorities this was 20 per cent up for the last five years. In the past 20 years the numbers employed in local authorities had increased from 1.5m to 2.5m, went on the MP.

Mr Hordern said he did not want to criticise the activities of the National Health Service or of the local authorities.