30 years ago

From the West Sussex County Times of Friday, August 13, 1982.

Ambulance crews in the Horsham and Crawley area are expected to answer emergency calls only today as part of the five days of action by NHS unions. The ambulancemen, who are members of the Confederation of Health Service Employees (CoHSE) in the Mid Sussex division, operated an emergency only service on Monday and Wednesday but worked normally on Tuesday and Thursday. Crews in the rest of West Sussex have been dealing with urgent cases only all week. The action by ambulancemen caused problems for out-patients at Horsham Hospital, where resident staff had voted not to take part in the nationwide stoppages. Administrator Tony Mills said members of the Royal College of Nursing and the National Union of Public Employees had decided to take no action and members of other unions at the hospital had followed suit. But he said there had been ‘knock-on effects’ from action taken by health workers elsewhere.

Ninety staff at Horsham’s water authority offices are to be offered jobs in Brighton as part of a major reshuffle and cost cutting exercise. The Hurst Road premises could be closed and the Sussex division moved to Brighton in a streamlining process by the Southern Water Authority. However, Douglas Banks, divisional manager based in Horsham, said all of his 250 staff, including those in the town, would be offered alternative posts at Falmer. He continued: “Whether or not everybody wishes to go or whether they will accept the terms on offer is the individual’s choice. There will have to be some people who accept jobs of lower responsibility.” The proposals are still under negotiation with unions and staff. As Mr Banks explained he himself could be one of those. He said: “At the present time there are eight divisional managers vying for the three posts.” The Southern Water Authority is streamlining its structure and reducing the number of divisional headquarters from eight to three. The new division will be based at Southampton, Brighton and Maidstone, making Horsham one of those to be cut.

Before Horsham District Council completes its four-year allotted span next year it will have decided to provide the west Chanctonbury area with an indoor sports hall. A choice of site will be recommended by the working group set up for the express purpose of advising just where this all-important recreational facility should be located. Three possible sites were considered in Storrington, Sullington and Thakeham, with Rydon School, on Thakeham parish’s boundary, seeming to be favourite. Evelyn Mauchel, chairman of the district council’s recreation and environment committee, was the far-seeing councillor who saw this provision ranking number one in her committee’s undertakings for the future. So far, the district council had seen fit to link an all-purpose indoor recreation centre with a secondary school in the areas seen to be in need of such a facility – Horsham, Billingshurst and east Chanctonbury – the choice having fallen on the Forest, Weald and Steyning Grammar schools. Rydon Intermediate School, Thakeham, is the Chanctonbury bridge between primary and comprehensive levels of schooling and experience has shown that use of a secondary school campus to accommodate a sports hall of the kind envisaged is the ideal arrangement.