30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday March 12, 1982.

WITH less than 24 hours’ notice, parents throughout West Sussex had to make special arrangements yesterday for their children who were being sent home during school lunch breaks.

Teachers in almost all of the county’s 300 schools refused to take part in any voluntary duties with lunchtime supervision and parent-teacher activities, such as open evenings, being boycotted.

The county council said in a statement that some schools might have to lock out their children during the lunch break if a headmaster did not have enough staff to cope with the children.

In a directive to all county schools, less than 24 hours before the boycott began, the county council laid down guidelines for headmasters to follow.

The county has also given area education officers the power to employ temporary lunch break supervisors. Temporary staff will be paid £1.60 an hour and be given a free meal.

David Schwartz, county secretary of the NUT, said the employment of temporary staff would not only undermine the teachers’ action but would also affect the long-term schooling of the county’s children.

The money to employ these people would have to come from the education budget so reducing the amount of money to be spent on books and other equipment.

Teachers would refuse all voluntary duties until the county council agreed that their pay claim should be taken to arbitration, he added.

A NEW staff appointment for home defence work in West Sussex was approved, although some councillors attacked it as ‘nonsense’.

The fire and public protection committee decided to make the appointment at a cost of £12,000 a year, of which £9,000 will be paid by the Government. Voting was 7-4 in favour.

John Sheridan said the aim would be to ‘enthuse and motivate’ volunteers in the county. He regarded the £12,000 as a good investment.

But Alfred Pegler said the appointment was a token offering to the thought that the general public could be defended in the event of war.

“I fully support the idea of peacetime planning,” he went on. “But you would have to train the whole population of West Sussex in order to give a guarantee that someone would be available if there was a war.’’

Harold Jones said an immense amount of money would have to be spent to make civil defence viable. “We are not getting anywhere near that,” he claimed. “We are just nibbling and wasting our effort.”

RESIDENTS in Bramber, Steyning, Upper Beeding and Pulborough have won the battle to save their zebra crossings.

Petitions, protests, letters, lobbying and hours of campaigning paid off when the county council’s roads and transportation committee reprieved the crossings.

Lollipop lady for Upper Beeding, Jenny Laker, who organised the village’s petition against the plans to axe the crossing, said she was ‘jubilant’ when she heard the news from County Hall.

She said: “We are really thrilled about it. It shows that all the petitions and protests were worthwhile – we have proved our point.”

Chairman of Beeding Parish Council, Keith Nethercoate-Bryant, said the village could now breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge the crossings were safe.