30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, December 25, 1981.

MORE than 100 detectives and other specialists are to go back into uniform to meet public demand for more bobbies on the beat in major Sussex towns, including Horsham and Crawley.

The redeployment will mean Sussex Police can sell off 64 cars and 22 motorcycles, Chief Constable George Terry said when he outlined the scheme to the Sussex Police Authority.

The manpower switch was planned long before the recent Lord Scarman Report, which called for more community policemen. “The idea came from John Citizen,” said Mr Terry.

“There has been a constant public clamour for more policemen on their feet on the beat.”

The move was welcomed by the authority, meeting at Pelham House, Lewes.

The reorganisation, which has already begun, will mean a reduction of 103 in the number of detectives and the staff of juvenile bureaux, divisional accident prevention units, the drugs squad and in the special inquiry units which deal mainly with missing persons and women offenders.

At some police stations constables or civilians will replace sergeants in the front office, and for a year there will be no promotions from constable to sergeant.

A PLAN to create four new council parishes in Horsham town is to be investigated at a meeting in January.

The Local Government Boundary Commission has appointed an Assistant Commissioner to investigate recommendations from Horsham District Council for parish boundary changes in the town and rural areas.

District councillors recommend 21 boundary changes in their area including the abolition of one parish, and the creation of seven new parishes, four of these in the town which has not previously had parishes.

The commission felt that justification for some of the recommendations was not sufficient in the council’s report so has decided to hold an inquiry in Horsham Town Hall.

One of the aims of the meeting is to decide whether the town should be divided into two parishes of Riverside and Hurst; or if there should be one large parish, or if the area should be divided another way.

Horsham Rural Parish Council will come under scrutiny to see whether it should remain unchanged or be divided into four separate parishes of Broadbridge Heath, Southwater, Roffey and Holbrook, as the District council recommends.

It could also be divided into two parishes with Broadbridge Heath and Southwater making one and Roffey and Holbrook the other.

THE GRIM prospect of cuts in the fire service has angered Chanctonbury villagers.

The Government has announced its intention to cut the rate support grant, confirming the worst fears of local authorities.

West Sussex County Council’s fire and public protection committee has already prepared for the news by drawing up plans to trim £177,000 off its budget.

Fire stations at Henfield, Partridge Green and Findon are threatened with closure – and those at Storrington and Petworth could be reduced in size.

Henfield’s fire officer, Eric Wells, is alarmed and angry about the proposed cuts. He is the director of a building firm and has worked as retained fireman in the area for 22 years. “The villagers are incensed,” he said. “As a fire officer I am not allowed to express my views but my personal view is that these cuts could be calamitous.

“Anything that causes a delay in an appliance attending a call to a fire, flood or accident, is a great disaster for the people who are involved. It only has to happen once, and time is the essence.

“My only hope is that sense will prevail over purse-strings and that the villages where stations are listed for closure, and all villagers, will get the service that they pay for. Village people pay the same rates as town people and are entitled to comparable emergency services.’’