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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YOUR COUNCILLOR

It is clear from discussion I have with our community that many people have little idea exactly what a local Councillor does.  This section on my web-site seeks to deal with that and explain in more detail how we generally and myself in particular, assist our community from day to day.  It also includes a reference to my specific responsibilities contained in the biography, elsewhere on this site.

 

Shoreham Air-Crash

As emergency planning sits under my portfolio as an executive member, after the aircrash and for the next week I was heavily engaged in speaking to the media, both Radio and TV about the community impact, and what so many people did to support those working on site. By and large, the media managed to deal sensitively with the issues and showed good levels of support and acknowledgement to local people.

 

Since, I have been involved with the famlies who lost loved ones, to help them with a permanent memorial in the vicinity of the airfield.

 

Housing Issues

These include a wide variety of problems, which include:
  • Damp
  • Flooding
  • Badly finished repair work by contractors
  • Homelessness
  • Problems with utilities supply
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Lack of council action
 
I have a personal policy of visiting all people who contact me to complain or those who are having problems, and frequently, especially in relation to housing issues, this takes a number of visits.  If you add the time in that it takes to speak to officers, question procedures and make sure that the matters are put right, each issue takes some time to resolve.  My local residents can rest assured that I ALWAYS do my very best to resolve their issues, and regular letters of thanks I get are testament to that.
 
Regulatory
  • Licensing in all its forms
  • As a previous Vice-Chair of the Licensing Committee which also sits under my responsibility, and historically Chairing the Commiittee in consideriation of special Licensing applications such as the music festival previously held at Shoreham Airport
  • Regulation of Hackney Carriage Licences (Taxis and Private Hire)
  • Food Standards in premises providing food to the industry or selling directly to the public
  • Environmental Health as regards noise pollution and air quality
  • Preparation of the annual community safety strategy as required by regulaton
 
The application for the premises licence for Shoreham Airport for the music festival received a lot of local attention and some complaints.  As people may know, I chaired the Licensing Committee's original considerations of this application in 2015, and on balance, we felt that with the surrounding safeguards we added, 92 separate conditions, the needs of the local community were be addressed.  The matter took over 25 hours of my time alone to resolve this issue, and the main reason for this was the fact that we allowed 14 separate residents and representatives of local groups to address the committee and put their point of view.  In total, 69 letters of objection were received, although it has to be said that some of those agreed with approval subject to conditions. However, on social media, the picture was different, with two thirds in favour of the event taking place.
 
The application was never made in order to allow the event to happen, as that is another issue. This application for a premises licence was purely to allow the sale of alcohol, late night refreshments and for music, both live and recorded to take place. Under planning law, Shoreham Airport can hold up to 28 days of events each year unrelated to aviation without applying for a change of use for the airport. It should be said that other events involving 70,000 people could go ahead without reference to the Licensing Committee if it did not include licensable activities.
 
Decisions like this are always difficult for local Councillors, who have to balance the needs of their community against commercial exploitation.  It is an "A" political issue, governed by legislation, and inevitably we are never able to please everyone.  What the public need to understand is that we give our best endeavours to ensure the rights of local people are taken into consideration.
 
Legislation also allows for anyone to call for a review of the llicence subsequent to the event, and the organiser was required by conditions to arrange for a public meeting within a month to review the way in which the event was managed and examine any problems for residents. Sadly, that review was a shambles and deteriorated into a shouting match, and can only be viewed as a loss of opportunity with too many people, including some Councillors, mostly UKIP from both County Council and District, trying to make political capital out of it.
 
Crime and Disorder duties:
  • Sitting as a member of the Police and Crime Panel holding the Police Commissioner to account
    • a member of the working group examining the implications of the new Targetted Operating Model of policing being set in place each year to assist in saving a further £50 million from the police budget
    • Sitting as a member of the victim's services group to ensure the needs of victims of crime are effectively addressed
  • Meeting regularly with Sussex Police neighbourhood policing teams to assist in the deployment of resources through local knowledge
  • Originally Chairing the Safer West Sussex Partnership developing a community safety strategy for West Sussex
    • Linking to the main objectives of the Police Commissioner's Policing Plan and the strategic assessment for safer communities at local levels across West Sussex
    • Another issue that fell to me as Chair of this group, was setting up Domestic Homicide Reviews in the case of homicides in a family or relationship
  • Chairing the Adur and Worthing Safer Communities Partnership tackling safer community issues with other agencies and the community
  • Sitting on the Joint Action Group to identify local crime problems
  • Chairing Local Action Teams tackling local crime
  • Attending the tension monitoring group assessing the need for action to tackle issues arising from the international situation and terrorism, both external and home grown.
  • Supporting the Prevent Strategy to try and address and prevent radicalisation of young people in our community
  • Supporting the three stages of early intervention with families needing support
  • Supporting work to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation and human trafficking
  • Attending meetings dealing with domestic and sexual violence
  • Taking an active involvment in tackling County Drug Lines in support of partnership action
 
General commitments
  • Attending the better place group
  • A member of the Local Strategic Partnership
  • Contributing to the equalities forum which includes disability and mental health
  • Mental Health Champion for Adur district
  • Attending the Health and Well-Being forum which has the remit to improve the health of local people
  • Working with others to tackle areas of deprivation in our community
  • Attending the following groups at local level
    • health and well-being board
    • Equalities forum
    • Health and safety
    • Air quality
    • Visits with staff to assess food safety in premises providing food for either the trade or immediate public consumption
    • Adur mobility forum for people suffering from disability
    • Adur Churches Together forum AGM
    • Chairing the externally funded British Heart Foundation programme which was being delivered in local schools by council staff
  • Managing the Adur District Council community grants scheme and making the decisions as to grants awarded

 

As a County Councillor

  • Advisor for Special Educational Needs and Disability to the Cabinet Member
  • Visiting special schools to examine the role of West Sussex and advise where changes are required
  • Meeting West Sussex Parents forum to discuss special needs
  • Trouble shooting complaints
  • Previous Chair and now Vice-Chair of the County Local Committee
  • As an appointed Governor on the Sussex NHS Foundation Trust dealing with mental health
  • Ongoing road problems with potholes and Road traffic Regulation Orders

 

Miscellany

  • Chair of the governing body of Sir Robert Woodard Academy, Sompting
  • Previous Chair of Governors (5 years) at Herons Dale Special School, Shoreham

Councillor    David Simmons

  • Executive Member for Health and Well-Being, and the member for Hillside ward, Adur District Council 
  • Member for Southwick Division West Sussex County Council
  • Senior Advisor for Special Needs Education, West Sussex County Council
  • Appointed Governor for the Sussex NHS Partnership Trust dealing with Mental Health
  • Chair of the School Council at Sir Robert Woodard Academy Sompting
  • Member of Sussex Crimestoppers Board

Councillor David Simmons

42 Greenways Crescent

Shoreham

BN43 6HS

 

Tel: 01273 464018 (home)

Mobile: 0772 505 4389

e-mail: david.simmons@adur.gov.uk

david.simmons@westsussex.gov.uk

Councillor  Angus Dunn

Executive Member for Finance and Deputy Leader at Adur District Council

Councillor Angus Dunn

86, Church Green

Shoreham

BN43 6JU

 

Tel.: 01273 870067

Mobile: 07760 486552

e-mail:

angus.dunn@adur.gov.uk

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