Agenda item

Announcements by the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Executive Members or the Head of Paid Service


The Mayor informed Council that he had attended a number of events since the October Council Meeting.  


“A large part of the past month or so has had a theme of remembrance from unveiling the Memorial stone dedicated to the late Queen in Beach House Park, the Remembrance week services outside the Town Hall and up to and including the Pigeon Memorial, again in Beach House Park and the lighting of the Menorah last Thursday for Jewish Hanukkah! 


All of which made me think that we are fortunate to live in times when we do not have to send our young people, not much older than some of the Cadets, Scouts and guides I have met recently, to fight for the freedoms we might take for granted.


One highlight was a visit to the Town Hall by a group of cubs from the 1st Worthing troop who were full of enthusiasm and questions, especially whether or not there are secret rooms in the Town Hall and who we kept in the dungeons. I assured them that no one is locked up in the basement nowadays!


We also held the first of my Mayor’s Charity Events which was very successful and raised about £800.  There will be more events in the New Year.


To finish I would like to take this opportunity to wish all councillors, officers and members of the public a Happy Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year!”


The Leader provided the following update on the financial position of the Council:-


“Like every other local authority in the country, we continue to face tight financial restrictions caused by a reduction in central government funding and increasing pressure outside of our control from inflation and cost of living challenges. However, thanks to savings in year, our budgetary position has improved in recent months, so that we will now only need to use some of our financial reserves this year. Thanks again to these savings, our invest to save programme and further savings we will make in 2024/25, we predict a balanced budget next financial year.  It has been reported in the press recently that we could have to issue a section 114 notice soon because of our financial position.


That is entirely untrue. 


Furthermore, current budget plans for next year are very much still subject to further financial information, not least the increasingly late settlement decision for Local Authorities from the National Government. It would be irresponsible of us to put out figures when there is so much flux - we trust that Members understand their responsibility as Councillors under the code of conduct and will remember that we serve our residents. As the administration, we set the priorities for our Council, work with our senior officer team to ensure that they are understood and that we are all aware of the resources available to achieve our aims, and officers are then tasked with operationalising these strategic directives with their excellent officer teams. Decisions we make not only allow our Council to deliver the services required today, but also build towards a long term plan for our Borough. These are difficult financial times, but let us do the public the courtesy of dealing in facts, allow the officers space to do their work and let us as local political representatives remember the key fact that we serve the public, not ourselves”.


The Council received the following Cabinet Member announcements:-


The Cabinet Member for the Environment updated the Council on public toilet improvements, bathing water categorisation, sustainable planting and the opening of a Cafe at Brooklands.  


The Deputy Leader provided the Council with a Cost of Living update, the Household Support Fund and the Low Interest Loan Scheme with Boom. 


The Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency updated the Council in regards to the Worthing District Heat Network.  


There were no announcements from the Head of Paid Service.