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Councils & Other Statutory Authorities

A Multitude of Service Providers

On any day of the week, as residents of Arundel we are likely to receive services from many different public authorities. In normal times we may walk across the cobbles in the Town Square to book a wedding in the Town Hall (both involving Arundel Town Council), whilst our rubbish is collected  (Arun District Council) and before visiting the library (West Sussex County Council), safe behind our flood defences (the Environment Agency). The A27 is maintained for us by Highways England. Our enjoyment of walking on the South Downs is protected by the South Downs National Park Authority, whilst kayaking on the south side of Arundel Bridge brings in the Littlehampton Harbour Board. Behind the scenes these public authorities are in regular contact with each other to keep it all going. Most of the time we only notice this organisational web when it breaks down.

With four tiers of government it’s not easy to know who is accountable for the various public services we consume.

Tiers of Government

Parliament: together with villages inside the boundary of the South Downs National Park, our town forms part of the Arundel and South Downs parliamentary constituency. Our MPs have traditionally championed Arundel’s interests very effectively in Westminster, and our current MP is Andrew Griffith, who was elected in 2019, and holds regular surgeries for constituents.

Three tiers of local government provide services in Arundel:

West Sussex County Council based in Chichester. Over 800,000 people live in West Sussex, and it is responsible for a budget of over £530 million, providing services which include education, highways (other than motorways and major strategic A-roads which fall under Highways England) and the fire service. Visit WSCC website.

Arun District Council based in Littlehampton. Circa 160,000 people live in Arun, and the major towns are Arundel, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. Arun’s annual budget is £26m, and it provides services which include waste collection, planning and street cleaning and it is responsible for any emergencies in the district (e.g. if a flood occurred). Visit Arun District Council website.

Arundel Town Council based in Maltravers Street. The population of Arundel is circa 3,500. The annual budget is circa £264,000, of which approximately two-thirds comes from the ‘precept’, Arundel’s share of the council taxes collected from residents, by Arun District Council. Arundel does not get any of part of the business rates. The remainder of the budget is earned, largely from hiring the Town Hall out for weddings and other functions. Visit Arundel Town Council website.

‘General Power of Competence’

Arundel Town Council has relatively few mandatory responsibilities, but it has ‘the general power of competence’, under the Localism Act 2011, which effectively means that it has the legal power to do anything that an individual could do which is in the interests of the community (prior to the 2011 Act local authorities were only able to exercise specific powers that were granted to them by law). An eligible council is one which has resolved to adopt the General Power of Competence, with at least two thirds of its members being declared elected,  and the Town Clerk must hold an appropriate qualification, for example the Certificate in Local Council Administration.

The Role of Arundel Town Council

As the local authority in closest contact with the Arundel community, Arundel Town Council spends time lobbying and liaising with other authorities to ensure that our town receives the services that it needs. For example, in May 2020 there are detailed discussions taking place with Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council about how Arundel can ease the Coronavirus lockdown and enable Arundel’s shops, bars, cafés and restaurants re-open safely.  Over the last year regular meetings have taken place with the Environment Agency to ensure that Arundel secured the best possible flood defences with the minimum disruption and risk to its narrow streets. And close co-operation with Arun District Council, which had adopted the Arundel Neighbourhood Plan, enabled the Town Council to prevail in having a developer’s appeal to the Planning Inspectorate dismissed. This prevented some unwelcome development on the Swallow Brewery site.

Arundel Town Council is also taking over responsibility from Highways England for the A27 roundabouts at the end of the Causeway and Maltravers Street with the intention of making them both more attractive and ‘bee friendly’. Since April 2020 it has taken back responsibility for the Farmers Market with a view to developing the event for the town.

The Town Council comprises the Mayor and Councillors, all of whom are unpaid volunteers, and the officers and staff who report to the Town Clerk.

The Council is supported by unpaid expert advisors for ‘Flood Defences’ and ‘Trees’, and for ceremonial occasions has a voluntary Town Crier and Mace Bearer to reflect Arundel’s heritage.

All Council Meetings are public, and there are opportunities for residents to attend and ask questions.

Meetings are regularly attended by the towns three Arun District Councillors and our West Sussex County Councillor.


Utilisation of Funds

Staffing and maintenance of the Town Hall absorbs the largest element of the annual budget and grants are made to local charities and voluntary organisations supporting the community.

Responsibility for Arundel Services

Arundel Town Council   
Maintenance   and usage of the cobbled area of the High Street, and the War Memorial.   
Maintaining   the council website and Facebook site to share news with the community   
Farmers   Market   
Cultivation   of A27 roundabouts at Causeway and Maltravers Street   
Maintenance   and letting of the Town Hall   
Advising   Arun District Council on planning developments for the town   
Developing   the Neighbourhood Plan (including the list of community assets) and holding   the referendum for its approval   
Liaison with   Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council over the services they   provide to Arundel, and holding them accountable to the town.   
Lobbying and   campaigning for new facilities e.g. the cycle path to Ford   
Supporting the   Chamber of Commerce, Festival Committee and all the voluntary organisation   
Setting   the annual precept.   
Arun   District Council   
Building   Regulations   
Burials   and Cremations   
Coastal   Protection   
Community   Safety   
Council   Tax and Business Rates   
Elections   and Electoral Registration   
Environmental   Health   
Markets and   Fairs   
Public   Conveniences   
Sports   Centres, Parks and Playing Fields   
Street   Cleaning   
Waste   Collection and Recycling   
Shared:   Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council   
Arts   and Recreation   
Economic   Development   
Museums   and Galleries   
West   Sussex County Council   
Births,   deaths and marriage registrations   
Children’s   services   
Concessionary   Travel   
Consumer   protection   
Education   (including pre-school, special needs and adult education)   
Highways   (not trunk roads), street lighting and traffic management   
Minerals   and waste planning   
Passenger   transport and transport planning   
Public   Health   
Social   services (including care for the elderly and community care)   
Trading   standards