We will need to do more for ourselves says Jacky Pendleton
I would very much like to talk to you about the services which West Sussex County Council (WSCC) are having to cut back on, as a result of cuts in public funding, and how the community might help to compensate for some of our community based activities. The current lack of funding is likely to continue so perhaps we should start looking at how the community can help itself.
About a year ago, I encouraged the local Parish Council to start up a group to look at the maintenance of our pathways and rights of way. This group has been extremely successful in identifying issues and potential developments. Now they are beginning to get formal training which will help them to identify realistic enhancements and maintenance which are needed. This is all being done on a volunteer basis because the people care about our community and environment.
Members of the community are also working towards measuring and recording traffic flows in our local areas with a view to getting evidence that we need to install traffic calming measures in more places. There are also people coming up with ideas for improving other areas of our local environment and working on ideas such as pedestrian crossings, road markings and street furniture to name but a few. These groups need more support and more help and ultimately the outcomes should mean that we make a better environment for us all.
We could take these initiatives further. We could set up a group which kept an eye on our pavements alongside our highways and identified when pavements were getting overgrown, and call on WSCC to provide equipment to help us cut back the growth.
We could also set up community groups who look out for our elderly and vulnerable residents and offer help when needed – of course only if the individuals want that help.
I suppose what I am saying is that into the future we are all going to have to do more for ourselves and our communities and I think that this approach will give our communities much more resilience and cohesiveness and maybe return us to a time when neighbours and friends took on responsibility for others in their communities who needed support.
If you are interested in any of these ideas or have some ideas of your own, do please get in touch with me. Jacky Pendleton, West Sussex County Councillor for Clymping, Ford, Middleton on Sea & Yapton.
Mobile: 07768 200539
This is an edited version of an article which originally appeared in Yapton News.