Monday, 28 September 2015

Out and about in the Beautiful Outdoors

The weather over the last few days has been glorious with lovely blue skies and sunshine, just the sort of weather to showcase the beautiful scenery behind our West Sussex Beautiful Outdoors campaign.

I was delighted to see so many people out and about when I visited Stan’s Bike Shack at Partridge Green yesterday.

This has become a favourite stopping off place for bikers who are either travelling along the Downs Link, or coming down from Surrey into West Sussex to drop-in for some refreshments and to catch up with other cyclists. 

There was a particular buzz at a special event held yesterday, with many cyclists turning out to enjoy the sunshine. Stan’s Bike Shack has really grown in popularity since opening and earlier in the year he was awarded a ‘Be the Business’ grant to help expand and develop the business. Looking at the many people milling around yesterday, Stan’s Bike Shack is providing a welcome stop for bikers to enjoy and appreciate our wonderful countryside.

The Beautiful Outdoors Campaign has appealed to so many people and although the campaign is now coming to an end we are continuing to support our rural economy and outdoors through our autumn Taste Magazine. We will soon be seeking your suggestions for the best Pub log fires – so keep an eye out for our forthcoming Taste Magazine in November.

Our West Sussex Record Office is another little WSCC treasure. A truly fascinating place filled with so many historical records about the county. The interest in finding out more about our family history has meant the Record Office has become more popular over the years and if you haven’t been there I would highly recommend a visit.

Last week it took an extremely important delivery of all the written tributes that were left with the flowers on the Shoreham Tollbridge following the tragic air crash in August.

The amazing team of volunteers who so lovingly looked after the floral tributes over the last few weeks have carefully retrieved all the written tributes and these have now been handed over to the Record Office. This means our specially trained staff at the Record Office are now able to preserve and record these tributes to ensure they are saved on behalf of the families and as part of the future history of the county. 

The awful air crash was a very significant event in West Sussex so preserving and recording all the information and detail in our Record Office is incredibly important as it will provide a historical record not only now but in the years to come.

Best wishes,

Monday, 21 September 2015

Reasons to be proud

It is a month since the tragic Shoreham Air Accident and the County Council is playing its role in what’s being called the ‘recovery phase’. There is a great deal of work going on within the community to try and help people deal with the impact that this disaster has had. We are doing all we can and will continue to support the community for as long as is needed.

Last Friday I joined some of our firefighters and other first responders to the crash including police, ambulance crews and volunteers, when the Prime Minister visited Shoreham and Lancing. He visited Shoreham Tollbridge with Tim Loughton MP and then spent time speaking to emergency crews. It was a very discreet visit and was made away from the glare of the media. David Cameron thanked everyone for their efforts and said they should be proud of their work. I think he is absolutely right.

Another event I attended last week also made me think about bravery - that was the spectacular Battle of Britain Air display at Goodwood. Spitfires and Hurricanes set out on a tour of airfields linked to the Battle of Britain. It was the largest grouping in one place since World War Two and was quite some sight, perhaps never to be seen again. But it was also a reminder of the many brave servicemen and women who took part in the Battle of Britain – each one who flew out did so in the knowledge that they may not return. It was such acts of bravery and self-sacrifice that helped us win the war allowing democracy and free speech to continue in this wonderful land. We will remember them.

I also had a great sense of pride in our local businesses when I made my way to Rolls Royce at Goodwood for the launch of their new car. Now, I am no petrol head but I have to say this car was quite something and impressed everyone. I can only describe it as the ultimate luxury car, which was built at the Chichester plant in West Sussex and I have no doubt that many more will be built in the coming years. Behind the car are the skilled experienced engineers, and craftsman who painstakingly put the car together, using the best materials and using all their skills to create a very special car.

The Rolls Royce plant, has expanded quite considerably since it was opened in 2003. Then they employed 200 people - that has grown to 1,400 employees and each year they take on apprenticeships.

We are fortunate to have quite a few world class businesses in West Sussex and as one of the County Council’s key priorities is the economy, we are delighted they are here and are committed to working with them.

Best wishes,