To receive any questions from members of the public addressed to Members of the Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11. There is up to 5 minutes for each question, one supplementary question may be asked arising from the original question.
Questions must relate to any matter the Council has power or which affects the Borough, except no questions may be asked in relation to
a) A specific planning or licensing application
b) A specific staffing appointment or appeal, or Standards determination
Public question time will last up to 30 minutes; questions will be taken in the order of receipt.
The deadline for submission of questions is Friday 14 October 2022 at 12 noon. Questions to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor advised that 2 questions had been received in advance of the meeting.
1. Question submitted by Mr Connell Loggenberg, a Worthing Resident
Central to every function of Council, is and must be Equality — it’s an accepted constitutional and statutory duty.
In June 2020, I wrote to Council about my concern for the Council’s poor, if not lack of, practical Promotion of Racial Equality.
At the time, I referenced the monument at Steyne Gardens, erected in 1902, a period in which any emphasis of importance pertaining to the lives of people of so-called Black or Coloured Ethnicity was brazenly dismissed.
The real history represented by the monument, is a painful reminder of lives lost — in that they were, in the words of Council, “…lions led by donkeys”, and that “Those who led the charge for war in South Africa were not doing so with virtuous aims…”
Soldiers and others fighting on the British side, were made to believe that they were fighting a noble cause, but they were misled — it was for commercial gain for a very small minority.
In addition, in this ruthless pursuit for commercial gain, was the careless loss of life of a people down rightly dismissed as unimportant — People who were labelled as Black and Coloured…because of the colour of their skin.
So unimportant they were, that many monuments erected in remembering the fallen, does not even mention them. The monument in Steyne Gardens is a prime example.
Council further told me in reply,
“…I support the campaigns to promote a more inclusive and fairer society in which race and skin colour should never be a basis for discrimination.”
“I will work with colleagues and approach the management of Worthing Museum to assess the public facing displays relating to this time and explore options for adding to the information provided in Worthing that gives the proper context. An information board explaining the history of the war near the memorial or in the museum or Town Hall may be appropriate.”
I followed up this matter in subsequent Council meetings and asked the question as to who exactly the colleagues in Council are that are working on this, when and how the museum were contacted and what progress had been made.
To date, the awkward silence from Council on this point, stirs a bitter reminder of how people who look like me, should remember our place…that we are unimportant and do not deserve a mention on or by monument display — we are to be seen, but not heard. And where we are heard, not to be understood.
And where there’s understanding, that’s as far as it goes.
Does Council consider the lives, or at least, the story of the lives of the People labelled as black and coloured, who also fought alongside the British, were also misled and also died, important enough to be visibly and permanently inscribed on, next to or near the monument at Steyne Gardens as a real and tangible display of equal consideration for the lives of such?
If yes, who will finally lead the charge on this project and when?
If no, and nobody will lead the charge on this matter, please explain.
The Cabinet Member for Culture & Leisure replied that she understood Mr Loggenberg had raised a similar question in the past. This administration was committed to being a listening, community-first council. As part of this the Council wanted to support and celebrate the cultural diversity of Worthing. The community cohesion group would be re-started after November 2022. This allowed for good data to be gathered including the census data expected to be available from November. The Cabinet Member would ensure that this issue was part of the working group’s scope and that it seeks local and expert views on how to respectfully acknowledge all those who served in conflicts of the past.
You may be interested to know that Worthing Museum had been accepted as one of just fourteen museums in the UK to work on a project with the Museum Association focused on decolonising museum collections. Whilst this was focused on accessioned artefacts within the museum collection and not public monuments, this did put Worthing at the forefront of this crucial area of work and showed a commitment and openness to change.
2. Question submitted by Mr Connell Loggenberg, a Worthing Resident
The global story of Covid-19, is by the day unravelling with great cause for concern.
Much of the information the public is expected to rely on, is that of the National Government’s narrative and that which the BBC and other Corporate Media disseminates.
Measures touted by government and adhered to by local Councils to combat Covid-19 proves controversial.
Evidence emerged that the former Prime Minister wasn’t adhering to the rules repeatedly block-chained through television and leaflets pushed through our doors.
People were told to wear masks, to social distance— the evidence of effectiveness in reducing spread is proven to be negligent. The scientific studies relied on by government for touting this measure remains wanting…and yet, people are still left to believe it prevents Covid.
We were told that a Vaccine, containing a mRNA and other undisclosed lipid nano-particles is the solution to preventing anyone from dying or developing serious illness due to Covid.
The reality is something else. People are developing serious adverse reactions to these injections. Many of these were foreseeable adverse reactions that the public had not been told about. Listed on the government website, is less than a page’s worth of information on possible side effects.
The number of people having died subsequent to receiving these injections is going up by the week — the UKMRA website proves it.
A Freedom of Information request and court action against Pfizer, one of the pharmaceutical companies’ product rolled out amongst the public, proves that there is in fact over 1290 side effects which includes death — information Pfizer did not disclose to the public, information the government ought to have known, given that it went into contract with Pfizer, and ought to have shared with local governments and Councils.
The full contract itself, to my knowledge, remains undisclosed.
More people are suffering from these injections and are doing so in silence, and the media won’t talk about it.
I have the supporting documents pertaining to this matter.
Is the Council prepared to see the data, to meet with experts in their field who are being sidelined by the national government, and share this data with the public it serves for the advancing of the public’s right to informed consent, and the public’s protection from proven risks.
If yes, who in Council can I share the data with?
The Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing replied that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) was an independent expert advisory committee that advised United Kingdom health departments on immunisation. It made recommendations on vaccination schedules and vaccine safety and had a responsibility to provide high quality advice and recommendations.
The Council recommended that any data held should be shared with the JCVI as the country's independent expert advisory committee so that it could be assessed. The Council encouraged the public to continue to make informed decisions based upon the information available.
Currently both the JCVI and the Government encouraged the uptake of vaccinations due to the wide benefits on public health. The Council encouraged everyone who was eligible to take up the offer of vaccination, especially vulnerable groups, to improve the public health of its communities and reduce the risk of Covid-19.
However, the Council respected the informed decisions of those who chose not to.
3. Question asked by Penelope Joyce, a Worthing Resident
"In its’ role as council for the community, what kind of measures and restrictions will the council put in place to start protecting stretched communities such as Selden Ward in East Worthing, where there is already an over concentration of HMOs and temporary emergency accommodation that has led to a dire situation of anti social behaviour for all the community, including local businesses and amenities to contend with day in and day out?"
The Cabinet Member for Citizen Services replied that a similar question had been asked by Councillor Roser at a previous meeting.
As a Council, the priority is the housing crisis and the situation was desperate with many people trapped in unsuitable, emergency accommodation. Evidence shows that mixed communities are required to enable everyone to do better and everyone can thrive.
Therefore, as a strategy, the Council wants to start buying more of its own, or, building more of its own accommodation and that accommodation will not only be located in one place. It does need to be kept relatively central, but it does not need to be centred in one ward.
The Council needs to end its reliance on private provision because it’s incredibly expensive and new provision needs to be more evenly spread. Once details of future proposals are available they will be shared with you.
4. Question asked by Mary Day, a Worthing Resident
What was the Council doing to support disabled people across the Borough?
The Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing thanked Mrs Day for the question and for raising this issue with the Council, acknowledging that this was an issue that needed to be addressed. Partnership work with various disability groups was due to commence early in the new year and the Cabinet Member would speak to Mrs Day following the meeting to provide more information about this work.