30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, February 19, 1982.

HORSHAM solicitor Ken Prichard Jones has lost his battle to stop Horsham District Council selling the Capitol Theatre to Marks and Spencer for £1.5m and using proceeds to convert the ABC cinema into a theatre.

In a statement the council gave its answer to an offer of an alternative deal made by Mr Prichard Jones’ consortium of businessmen to provide the town with a new theatre - ‘Not interested’.

Mr Prichard Jones learned by telephone that the Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, had refused him permission to bring a Relator Action against the council in the High Court.

Afterwards he spoke to the County Times and said: “I am obviously disappointed. Intense lobbying has been going on by the local authority and obviously we are disappointed by the outcome, but we will still proceed with the attempt to surcharge councillors if the deal goes ahead. It is a matter of making sure the town is sufficiently strong to prevent this transaction proceeding. It is up to ratepayers to achieve that.”

AN OPEN day is to be held to help people cope with redundancy which suddenly became a harsh reality for West Sussex when the Laker Airways collapse put some 1,700 out of work.

The idea comes from Horsham’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau staff after former Laker employees had approached them about redundancy payments, welfare benefits and their rights.

Organiser at Horsham, Elaine Crossly, said that people had been shocked by the fall of Laker and although many were given information about redundancy and its implications, they had been too stunned to absorb it.

“There is a wide range of problems people are having to face for the first time. Redundancy has some very far reaching consequences,” said Mrs Crossly.

Her colleague, Dick Holliday, listed some of them: “There are worries over entitlement to redundancy pay and when to receive it; holiday pay and mortgages; firm’s pensions, life insurance schemes, and financial commitments.’’

PROTESTERS want it in black and white that their zebra crossings will be spared the axe of the county council’s roads and transportation committee.

Scores of angry mums were among those who staged a dramatic protest against the planned removal of pedestrian crossings in Upper Beeding, Bramber and Steyning.

From 8.30am, placard bearing protesters crossed and recrossed the High Street in each of the three villages in a 90-minute demonstration against the county council’s proposals, which they claimed could cost a child’s life.

Not satisfied with a 1,200 name petition, Upper Beeding’s ‘lollipop lady’ Jenny Laker decided to join Steyning in staging the crossing protest.

She said she was ‘delighted’ by the numbers who turned out to repeatedly cross the High Street.

Mrs Laker does not accept the county council statistics which show the crossing is little used since the bypass opened. She said she had conducted her own survey – counting over 400 cars using the High Street while she is on school crossing patrol.