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Published Summer 2022

The Bell asked Mayor Tony Hunt for an update on some of the Council’s objectives.

1. Arundel-Ford Cycle and Walking Path

Objective: “We want to secure a safe pathway for cyclists and walkers from Arundel to Ford Station (and beyond to the A259)”

In October with great verve, pupils from Arundel’s two primary schools presented a petition asking for the pathway to Cllr. Joy Dennis (Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport West Sussex County Council) and Sean Gunner (Leader, Arun District Council), with Andrew Griffith MP present. In January Arun District Council debated the petition and unanimously supported the pathway. 

ADC have reserved £1.1m in their infrastructure plan towards the costs. We now expect to formally apply for funding from National Highways later this summer. But make no mistake, we are still going to have campaign hard to get this safe pathway.

2. Farmers Market

Objective: “We want to provide an outstanding market for Arundel residents and visitors” 

Our Farmers Market was under threat when the market stalls we rented each month were needed elsewhere. Fortunately we were able to persuade ADC to provide us with grants totalling £20,000 towards purchasing our own, very smart gazebos. We now have 50 stall holders regularly attending the market, and other traders on a waiting list. Many traders say that Arundel is their best market. 

For us the Council stall is a great place to meet and speak to residents. Like many things in Arundel, our monthly market would not be possible without our stalwart volunteers.

3. Trees

Objective: “Promote tree planting in Arundel”

Long-serving Arundel Tree Warden, Bob Tanner, now has two Assistant Tree Wardens, Fiona Keating and Trevor Andrews. With their help a community tree nursery with thirty young trees has now been started in the grounds of Arundel Church of England Primary School. Five new sponsored lime trees have been planted in Mill Road. A Canada Road resident consultation has been carried out, which will lead to a planting programme in the autumn. 

We have planted two special trees this year. On a blustery 6th February-the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession-more than 200 people gathered to celebrate the planting of a commemorative tree in Jubilee Gardens. Young people from our schools and cubs wrote excellent poems for the occasion. We then sent these poems to the Queen.

4. Environment

Objective: “To contribute to the reduction of climate change”

In October 2021 we declared a climate emergency. This was not some grandiose gesture, but recognition that we all have to play our part in reversing climate change. We are working with the Chamber of Commerce to reduce waste in the town and to stop disposable coffee cups going to landfill.

We have asked ADC to supply us with green recycling bins in the town centre so that visitors

can recycle waste and we are beginning to work on reducing the Council’s carbon footprint.

5. The State of the Town 

Objective: “Protect Arundel as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ for West Sussex”

Protecting those features of Arundel that makes this town a special place to live, is a constant battle. Over the last year we have regularly opposed planning applications that we believe undermine the town’s character and we have pushed back against the suggestion from West Sussex County Council that the cast iron heritage street lights in the town might be replaced with stainless steel street lights. Twice a year we have run Community Clean Up Days, well-supported by schools and residents. We have established a Conservation Working Group who will attempt to extend the areas of the town that have ‘protected status’.

More recently we have set up a “Greener Arundel” forum, bringing together people who have an interest in planting in the town. It’s first goals are to try and make the three approaches to Arundel-the station paths and the two roundabouts-more attractive and to try to locate some planters in the town.

6. Community Awards

Objective: “To recognise those who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in service to the community”

One of our hardest-but most enjoyable-jobs each year is deciding which candidates nominated by residents should receive Community Awards. This year was no exception. We were honoured to present the Cup to John Munroe for his great work in founding and leading the Macular Support Group.

Community Recognition Certificates went to Sharon Blaikie (for making the Arundel 2021 Festival happen and her leadership of the Chamber of Commerce), to John Paton (for reviving the Victoria Institute) and to Bob Tanner (for his work as Tree Warden and for the Gardens Association). James Gray and Izzy Johnson won the Young Peoples’ Awards. Each of them had contributed hugely to our Arundel community.

7. Grants Awarded 

Objective: “To improve the quality of life in the Town”

Last year we awarded £27,000 to charities and voluntary organisations that benefit Arundel residents. These range from £3,800 to enable the Lido to buy new lane ropes to £2,520 for Lifecentre, a charity supporting people who have suffered from “unwanted sexual experiences”. This year we have also allocated grants to groups organising events to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. Details on eligibility criteria for grants and how to apply are on the Town Council website.

8. Campervans 

Objective: “To work with West Sussex County Council to regulate ‘wild camping’ and campervan drivers living on Mill Road.”

We receive more complaints about campervans than any other issue. Arundel welcomes visitors- they are key to the health of our shops and hospitality outlets-but residents do not want them living on Mill Road when there are perfectly good car parks available. We are working with West Sussex County Council to have a traffic regulation order which would prohibit camper vans and caravans from parking on Mill Road overnight.

9. Parliamentary Constituency

Objective: “Currently Arundel is part of a parliamentary constituency called ‘Arundel and South Downs’. The Boundary Commission propose to change this so that we become part of a constituency comprising ‘Arundel & Littlehampton’. We are trying to stop this”

Although we are only 4 miles apart, Arundel (our rural town in the South Downs) and Littlehampton (a semi urban coastal resort town) are very different in character, and face totally different social and economic challenges. Moreover Littlehampton and Rustington are ten times as large as Arundel, and so we would have to fight to get attention from our MP.

Littlehampton Town Council agrees with us that the envisaged change makes no sense for either town and we are working together to reverse the Boundary Commission’s proposal. Arundel should continue to be part of a constituency comprising South Downs villages and towns.

10. The A27 & Arundel Bypass 

Objective: “To encourage everyone in Arundel to participate in the consultation, and to make sure that National Highways understood our reservations on their proposal”

In future we must stop driving cars using fossil fuels, and we will drive electric cars, hydrogen cell cars and car technologies not yet dreamed of. But we will still need roads to drive on. For this reason, like Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council, we have supported a bypass. However like them, we preferred the Magenta route and have made clear our concerns about the ‘Grey’ route selected by National Highways. This is a contentious issue. We have encouraged everyone, whatever their views, to participate in the consultation by locating collecting boxes in shops around the town.

“The Town inspired by Heritage and Nature”