You may have attended the Littlehampton Town Council Meeting this Thursday (27 Sept) where Councillors discussed proposals in the draft Arun District Leisure Strategy on the fate of our Windmill and Swimming & Sport Centre on the seafront.
For those who could not make that meeting, kindly note:
- Town Councillors voted unanimously to reject proposals in the draft Leisure Strategy prepared by Arun Council consultants to sell the Windmill (without replacement), and sell then relocate all (or parts of) the Leisure Centre;
- Town Council will inform Arun District Council of their views accordingly. It was mentioned that Rustington Parish Council also voted the same, recently;
- Consensus was Littlehampton’s open seafront is unique to this area. It is highly valued community resource that must remain free of further housing and hotel development.
- The Windmill and Leisure Centre are valued community assets relied upon and enjoyed by people of all ages, not only in Littlehampton, but also in Rustington, East Preston, Angmering and other nearby communities;
- The Leisure Centre is already ideally located to serve these communities.
Preparations for the open Community meeting (Forum)
Tuesday, 2nd October (7:00-9:00 PM)
New Millennium Chamber, Town Council Offices (Manor House), Littlehampton.
Again the EBRA Committee and EBRA Members encourage you and your organization to participate or observe, as you may wish. And hopefully have representation authorised to speak on behalf of your organisation and decide on any follow-up emerging from the open discussion.
We propose to have three flexible sessions over the 2 hours planned for this meeting:
1. On the fate of the Windmill Entertainment Centre – starting with a series of community / user group perspectives, or “statements of view” if you like (of 3-4 minutes maximum please so a number of groups can speak), followed by open microphone discussion of (i) the consensus view of what the draft Leisure Strategy says about the Windmill, and (ii) any related points people wish to make / or issues to raise (up to 45 minutes);
2. On the fate of the Swimming & Sport Centre – similarly, starting with a series of community / user group statements of view (of 3-4 minutes maximum), followed by open microphone discussion of the consensus view on what the draft Leisure Strategy says about the Leisure Centre, and any related points/issues people want to make or raise (up to 45 minutes);
3. On the meeting conclusions and possible next steps: open discussion to summarise recommendations arising from discussion at the meeting, which may be addressed either to the Town or District Councils, and next steps for a Community Forum (if any) drawing representation from groups attending the meeting (up to 30 minutes).
Some time may also be given to raise any other issues / concerns / observations on what the Leisure Strategy proposes for our area (e.g. Norfolk Gardens).
Due to the short time to compile the Community Meeting / Forum Outcome Report and submit it to Arun District Council before the formal public consultation period on the Leisure Strategy closes (Friday October 5th), and only if you wish to do so, we kindly ask:
§ Firstly, community groups who would like to make a 3-4 minute statement in either of Sessions 1 or 2, if you can, please send a short, bullet point summary of key points you wish to make by email to David Warne, EBRA Chairman, who will convene the meeting on your behalf, with a cc to Larry Haas (EBRA Member). (Both Email addresses are in this message).
Please send us the bullet points either before the meeting on Tuesday 2nd October, or at the latest, by Wednesday 3rd October if you can. The thinking is to compile and put them in the Outcome Report.
§ Secondly, please pass along any thoughts, or views on what Session 3 may recommend about the possibility of having a community forum, recommendations from the meeting to our Town or District Councils on additional steps they may take on these issues. Please pass that by email to David Warne (cc to Larry Haas) as soon as convenient before the meeting.
That will enable EBRA to compile points to project on screen in Session 3, only as a starting point for open discussion. Otherwise, that will help to move things along, as time may be tight in the meeting.
More generally on possible next steps,
EBRA is a small neighbourhood community organisation with limited capacity.
We appreciate that everyone has a very busy life already! But we do hope a small working group to represent user / community groups attending the meeting, or “community forum” so to speak, can assume a coordination role in helping to get our voice across to ADC – if the need arises from time to time in the next while. That working group may include individuals who may wish to lend a hand. The informal working group and larger Community Forum may wish to continue, or simply be on stand-by until the Arun District Cabinet and Council decision on the fate of our Windmill and Swimming Pool & Sport Centres is made. We understand that decision may be taken in late November this year.
Alternatively, the working group and the larger Community Forum may provide input to, or be integrated with public consultation on the Littlehampton Neighbourhood Plan, but only focusing on how Leisure Strategy options concerning the Windmill and Leisure Centre, for example, feature in the Neighbourhood Plan. That process is part of the new Localism Act. We feel there are some opportunities there. We understand the Neighbourhood Plan consultations are due to restart this October.
Please feel free to circulate this message more widely in the community.