Ben Thapa (& guests) December 19 2019 (1)
Tim, February 24 2020: Our wet and pleasant land!
I was recently reminded that Nelson Mandella said Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. I was at my second daughter’s paramedic graduation when it formed part of the closing address. I have had a busy Half Term at school with exam classes nearing completion (the first summer exams are just over 40 school days away) and visits from people considering joining the profession. Teaching is a challenging profession these days but I think most of us would say that it’s worth it.
We have some concerts lined up for when the weather improves and the days get longer. On April 26th we have something special related to St George’s Day. In fact, at a local venue, very soon Ben Thapa and Selsey’s famous Shantymen are getting together to rehearse.
Our team continues to be busy at Selsey Town Council. We were recently asked about this coming year’s Council Tax and we are pleased to say that a 1.1 percent increase on the precept, or 0.77p, Selsey has one of the lowest overall increases in the District and the second lowest of the eleven parishes on the Peninsula.
Donna and I have been speaking out at District. We voted against the Southern Gateway proposal (as you can see in Item 74) because it did nothing to help alleviate the traffic accessing Chichester from our side of the A27, in fact it has the potential to worsen it. We feel this was a wasted opportunity.
We also pressed hard on Item 69, the next Local Plan because of worries about over development with no commensurate infrastructure on the Peninsula; Selsey already has twice the number detailed in the current Local Plan. We are not anti-housing, but we have to be realistic. We also have climate change to factor in. Development has to be appropriate and sustainable.
Another current concern is Committee meeting times (Draft Item 88) as they all start at 09:30 not in the afternoon like Full Council. Employers can find this difficult to accommodate because they often run into the afternoon making it too late to go in. We also voted in favour of an unsuccessful motion (Draft Item 86) to ask the West Sussex Local Authority Pension Fund to divest itself of fossil fuel investments because we can see clearly the effect of climate change on the Peninsula and across our rather soaked green and pleasant land.
If there is anything you would like us to raise, please get in touch with us - you are also welcome to come to meetings, table questions in advance and watch proceedings for yourself.
Donna, February 8 2020: Apologies
I realise I've been a bit quiet on the posting front, for which I apologise. Will post more regularly now and let you know what I'm up to. Couple of things happening on Monday and Tuesday. Parks Vision meeting up at CDC. This is a task and finish group to help map out CDC's Vision for the Parks it owns across the District, this includes East Beach. Then, in the evening, it's the All Parishes meeting, again at CDC. This happens a couple of times a year and gets together Parish Representatives from across the Peninsula. It usually discusses specific issues which CDC is working on which affect the entire district; it's a very good way of meeting up with other Parish Councillors to hear about what they're up to and what they consider important.
Tim, December 6 2019: Are you Christmassy?
Are you coming to one of Selsey's celebrity Christmas concerts?
We are now less than two weeks away from the return of Ben Thapa (ex-G4) and our own Lisa Pow! Ben is performing two different Christmassy shows on two nights, the larger event on the 20th includes a light supper; the 19th is a more informal event where Ben will be singing and chatting.
As I drive home from work each night I can see that across the Peninsula the lights are definitely on so everyone is getting “Christmassy.This weekend the loft awaits me: other things have stopped us having the time to put our lights and decorations up. It seems no time since I put them away in January!
This week, Donna and I had a four and a half hour Full Council meeting at CDC; we succeeded in amending part of a motion - to note rather than endorse the initial suggestions for housing distributions in the next Local Plan. Unfortunately for Donna, she had an early Planning meeting the next day which ran to over five hours.
We hope to see you at something festive in the near future. Many thanks to the people who have got in touch with me about supporting the planting of more trees; I grew up in the heart of West Sussex so they are as dear to me as they obviously are to you.
Tim, November 22 2019: Christmas is coming!
Christmas is coming - we’re getting the sniffles, darker nights (and adverts) to prove it!
I am sure, like me, many of you are popping vitamin pills, sipping hot powders and hoping to avoid a full blown lurgy! Sadly, it goes with the territory for this time of year. On the brighter side of things, Tangmere and the Witterings have their respective Christmas light switch-ons this weekend and Selsey next. We are donating a tree to stand outside the Crab Pot in Selsey. The Selsey Shantymen are kindly performing (after the main lights turn-on) and some deserving charities will have stalls there too.
The issue with regard to the shorter charitable Christmas collection licenses was brought to our attention recently. The change in policy was designed to reduce cold calling activity, but that does not help organisations like the Selsey Lions who require a lengthier period. Having spoken with CDC Officers, it seems that the policy is soon to be reviewed. Representations have been made, and I am also liaising with other Councillors, in the hope to find a resolution for next Christmas.
Meanwhile, Donna makes me feel very much a part-timer as I drive off to Surrey each morning: she has meetings or casework just about every day and spends a lot of time frantically hurtling from one to another. For instance, on Wednesday she got home around 10pm because, along with other members of our team on STC, she was busy with the personnel committee.
As a part of Christmas is all about being together, don’t forget Ben Thapa is returning for an informal Festive Evening on December 19th in the Selsey Private Club, and is then joined by Lisa Pow and a new children’s choir from Bracklesham on the 20th in Selsey Town Hall. On the 20th there is a light buffet supper, an extended interval and Ben will be around afterwards. Tickets for both events are available online and in Selsey, from Tasoulla’s by the Southern Co-Op, and the Fruit Basket at East Beach. The Selsey Private Club are also selling tickets for the 19th, and the Crab Pot for the 20th.
We don't want anyone to miss out, so we can offer free transport to both events. Please get in touch so it can be arranged.
If you do join us at any of these Festive occasions, please say hello.
Guest Post: Ben Thapa, November 14 2019: Dear Manhood Peninsula
"I am incredibly excited to be invited back to beautiful Selsey for two Christmas shows. We had a wonderful event in the summer with an enthusiastic and warm audience and I can't wait for the same in December two nights running! I'm also thrilled to be able to share the stage with local sensation Lisa Pow on the 20th: she wowed us this summer and I have no doubt she will again this time. Watch out for details of her own solo show next summer!"
Tickets are still available for both nights online. They are also now available in Selsey from Tasoulla's by the Southern Co-Op, The Fruit Basket at East Beach, The Crab Pot (2oth only) and the Selsey Private Club (19th only.)
Guest Post: Glenda, Selsey Music Group, October 25 and November 1 & 8, 2019: Will you remember?
Selsey Music Group will be presenting an event on Remembrance Sunday, Nov. 10th, at 4pm.
"We Will Remember” is a concert featuring the Chamber Ensemble of London under the direction of violinist Peter Fisher. The music is entirely from the period of the Great War. It includes a specially commissioned work, “No Man’s Land”, written by Clive Jenkins, which is based on four very different war poems written by Wilfred Owen and French, Russian and German poets, for strings and solo double bass, Chris West.
St Peter's Church is kindly hosting this event, providing tea in the interval. There will also be a wine bar and a retiring collection to help maintain the eight War Graves at Church Norton cemetery and also to repair St Peters' roof.
Please join us. Doors open at 3.30pm, tickets cost £10.00. In Selsey you can obtain them from The Crab Pot (High Street,) Tasoulla’s (Southern Co-op) or The Fruit Basket (East Beach.) You can also click here to purchase them online.
Tim, October 18, 2019: I am related to "The Typewriter!"
Do you remember “The Typewriter” performance from Opportunity Knocks? Come to that, do you remember Opportunity Knocks? If you don't, it was what could be described as the grandfather of the X Factor.
After the success of last week's, we are planning more Musical Suppers. Brooks Aehron who performed "The Typewriter" is my uncle, so take a journey down memory lane and watch him reprise the number that made him famous. Although he has now retired, he runs a talent agency and is able to line us up with some promising performers.
Speaking of people who came to fame through Opportunity Knocks and the X Factor, Donna has been talking to Ben Thapa to see if we can get him down on a Saturday next year. Both his visits this year will have been on a Friday, but we think a Saturday might be easier for most folk. It is a sign that he is one of our country’s significant talents he does not think he has a free Saturday until August.
We will let you know more when we can, but of course there are three unmissable events, including two with Ben, before 2019 concludes. The first of these takes place on Remembrance Sunday, when the Selsey Music Group bring us the London Chamber Ensemble in St Peter's, Selsey. As well as online, tickets are also available in Selsey from The Crab Pot (High Street), Tasoulla’s by the Southern Co-op, and The Fruit Basket at East Beach. If you have a shop outside of Selsey, and would be happy to sell them, please get in touch.
Advance tickets for Ben's two adjoining events in December are selling well (before they go on general sale next month.) On Friday the 20th he will be in concert once again with local soprano Lisa Pow, bringing us a classical Christmas. There is a light buffet supper included in the interval and there will be a pay bar. We are making some ‘tweaks’ to speed things along, including using an extra room so we can have two buffets and space for sitting down!
Ben is also performing at an informal, intimate evening with chat and requests, the night before in the Selsey Private Club. Please note this event does not include any food - although we might run to a few bar snacks! - but it will be a chance to ‘get up close and personal' and have a chat about Ben's time with G4 and life 'on the road'. Of course, drinks will be available from the bar!
We are currently thinking about what to do from January, so please share your thoughts with us.
In case you are wondering about things council wise, at STC work continues on the Business Plan and the Budget for next year. This week our team had Planning Training, Full Council, Assets and Amenities and Planning meetings. Next week Donna has training for her Governorship of the Hospitals Trust.
Tim, October 11, 2019: It'll be alright on the night?'
Have you ever catered for a children’s birthday party? Did you enjoy making plate after plate of sandwiches? Would you do so again?
This weekend is a milestone for us, because we are staging our first Musical Supper. Our team was heavily involved helping the Selsey Music Group stage their first event in August, and that proved to be a good learning curve; hopefully, by the time Ben Thapa comes back in December, we will have got it right!
Including the 10 artistes, their partners and our event team, we are preparing for the possibility of 100 people being in Selsey Town Hall on the night. From memory, that means at least 250 sandwiches including gluten free, 150 indian nibbles, 100 slices of freshly baked quiche, sausage rolls, veggie food, crisps galore, salads, cheesecake, gateaux and trifle - plus 200 drinks!
Donna has also been busy this week with Council meetings, as have other members of the team; she was also a bit unwell at its start, but fortunately recovered quite speedily and managed to take charge of catering!
We will doubtless do it again, but if you fancy helping out please get in touch. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed - we gratefully salute you!
Tim, October 5, 2019: Are you 'crafty?'
Do you like a nice market? Not the financial sort, I’m thinking French, artisan, craft or continental. Better still, local farmers.
After the success of our French market in August, we were asked to hold another one, and think about some artisan or craft ones for next year. Bizarre though this may seem, we need to start thinking about 2020 already - or at least the early part of it!
We already have another community buffet in mind, and have been approached by some more local performers and groups offering to work with us. In regards to a craft market showcasing locally produced goods, we need crafters so, if you are interested or know of someone who might be, please email or message us.
Turning back to things more immediate, next weekend is our light musical supper with the Selsey Shantymen and Graham Anthony. Tickets are selling well, so we are very much looking forward to a wonderful evening of good company and entertainment. On Remembrance Sunday the Selsey Music Group are bringing us the Chamber Ensemble of London and, to end things nicely, Ben Thapa in December will be bringing us both an informal and Classical Christmas (more about that next week!) Yes, I know it’s the ‘C’ word, but let’s face it, Donna is quick to point out that the Quality Street is already in the shops...and other confectionery, of course.
We are looking forward to hearing from you if you would be interested in a Craft/Artisan Market. If we can get enough of our talented crafters together, we’ll agree a date and make it happen!
Tim, September 29, 2019: Can you perform?
Like Graham Anthony, are you one of our Peninsula's talented artistes?
The reason for asking is we are starting to think about our next round of events and would like to showcase more local talent. We have already had several approaches, but are eager to hear from as many of you as possible so we can provide a programme with something for everyone.
We’re really positive about how events have been going, most recently, Friday’s buffet in the Selsey Private Club. We had twice the number of people come to see us that we expected and it was really interesting to hear, not just people’s concerns, but also their aspirations for our area. We hope to be able to do it a few times a year.
Don’t forget, there are three musical events you might want to come to before Christmas, including the Selsey Music Group, bringing us the London Chamber Ensemble on Remembrance Sunday in St Peter's, Selsey.
Tickets are still on sale for our Musical Supper with the Selsey Shantymen and Graham Anthony on October 12th in Selsey Town Hall. Graham is a professional artiste and has a repertoire of over 700 songs - he’s sung on luxury cruise liners, private venues and most recently, entertained visitors to the Open Gardens in Bosham. A light buffet supper is included in the extended interval and there will be a pay bar. Tickets can be bought online with no booking fee, or in Selsey from The Crab Pot, Tasoulla’s by the Southern Co op, or The Fruit Basket at East Beach. If you have a shop outside of Selsey and would be happy to help, please get in touch.
We will soon be making tickets available for Ben Thapa when he returns in December. On Friday the 20th he will be in concert once again with local soprano Lisa Pow, bringing us a very traditional Christmas in classical style. This is another of our Musical Suppers so a light buffet supper is also included in its interval and there will be a pay bar. Ben is also performing at an informal, intimate evening with chat and requests, the night before: more details to follow.
Tim (& Donna), September 20, 2019: He's back?
Guess who likes Selsey lobster and is singing on the new Subway ad? No, it’s not me, it’s Ben Thapa (ex-G4) who closed this year’s Selsey Festival in August. Ben has never been known to take himself too seriously, hence the Subway ad; Donna points out he is not remotely Italian but has a strange Italian ‘twang’ in this advert!
The good news is, he’s coming back in December. On Friday the 20th he will be in concert once again with the Peninsula’s Lisa Pow, bringing us a very traditional Christmas in classical style. A light buffet supper is included in the interval and at his suggestion, he is also performing a more informal, intimate evening on the 19th in the Selsey Private Club. Tickets will be available soon.
You don’t have to wait until then for our next events. We have a musical supper in Selsey Town Hall on October 12th in aid of local community organisations and next Friday we are hosting a free buffet in the Selsey Private Club in Coxes Road. It will be really good to meet with you and hopefully you will be able to put faces to names! Feel free to have a chat about anything you want to share with us.
We have been busy with things other this week too: Donna and I went to a meeting of the Manhood Peninsula Action group on Monday and Donna also went to Sidlesham Parish Council’s meeting on Wednesday. This coming week is Chichester District Council’s Full Council meeting on Tuesday followed by Selsey Town Council Planning and Full Council on Wednesday. Donna also has inductions for her Governorship of the Hospitals’ Trust. You may have spotted that the LA team have been out as well, delivering a short update for Selsey on what our Councillors have been doing since May.
We hope you will be able to tend our event on the 12th October and also perhaps, join us next Friday in the Selsey Private Club. You will be made most welcome. Talking about things is really important so we can better understand what issues are of concern to you.
In the meanwhile, don’t be backwards in letting us know what you think of Ben’s performance
Tim, September 13, 2019: Here comes the sun!
Do you fancy an Indian - summer that is, although...I personally like a Vegetable Jalfrezi, with maybe a Prawn Biryani, a stuffed Naan and a few other side dishes too; but away from food, as it’s forecast to be nice on Sunday, we are planning one last “Hurrah” with a day trip to Cowes, lunch at Osborne House followed by an ice cream on Victoria's private beach, and then a leisurely pint before sailing back. (I found a pub that has Proper Job on draft round the corner from the Red Jet terminal!)
Anyway, it sadly is Autumn now but thankfully there is plenty going on: are you joining us for our free buffet on the 27th (which is now only a fortnight away) from 7pm in the Selsey Private Club? Are you coming to our Musical Supper on October 12th with the Selsey Shantymen and Graham Anthony? There are less than 50 tickets left on Ticket Source by the way, but from Monday you will also be able to buy them in Selsey from the Fruit Basket, the Crab Pot and Tasoulla’s by the Southern Co-op. If you run a shop elsewhere on the Peninsula and would be happy to sell some, please get in touch.
We are about to get delivering again: in Selsey we are putting out an update on what we have been doing since May; Donna is shortly writing to everyone in Sidlesham as well. We think it’s important that you know what we’ve been up to and of course, if you’d like to feed back to us, we’d be very pleased to hear from you.
The traditional ‘Surgeries’ aren’t always very successful so we hope you will be able to join us in a fortnight for a light buffet (no charge!) and a chat on the 27th. It’s totally non-political; we just want to give everyone a chance to meet with us, put names to faces and, if you’d like, let us know how you would like to see Selsey and the Peninsula evolve. No need to book, just turn up and you will be made very welcome!
Val, September 8, 2019: I'm back!
Well the grandchildren are back to school, so our days are a bit quieter. In some ways that can be nice, but they are noticeably emptier. During the holidays, we enjoyed some memorable outings with them like the Bank Holiday fireworks, Lifeboat Day, the funfair and Arundel Castle. I have to say the Selsey Festival throughout the month of August was fabulous.
Not that I haven't been busy doing other things as a Councillor, in case you wondered why I have not posted of late. The Selsey Christmas lights have now been completed and are ready for PAT testing, which will start next week. Being involved in this has been very rewarding and Mick and I are enjoying every minute of it.
The Bus Shelter in Hillfield Road is moving along slowly but a meeting is scheduled for the end of the month to move to the next stage so 'watch this space.’
Also, I have launched a petition to have a crossing positioned in Beach Road at the junction with Manor Lane. If you would like to sign it, there are copies in Seal School, Medmerry School, The Fruit Basket, and Ian Francis Butchers. I have approached others and I will keep you in the loop (particularly if you follow @CouncillorValWeller.) Please only sign once because doubles don't count.
Can I thank everybody who signs the petition, or who helps in any other way, with this project. Please encourage others to sign as well because if we do not get enough signatures we won't get passed the first hurdle.
Tim, September 6, 2019: Events, Dear Boy, events:
Do you feel the summer is already becoming a bit of a dim, distant memory? (Be honest, I bet you do)
I teach in a Secondary School (inside the M25.) I am in the first “Frantic Fortnight” of the new school year when I am deluged with results analysis, seating plans and researching the in-depth needs of my new students. Having said that, as they have just come back, they tend to be more focussed.
At the same time, I have a busy digital weekend because the artistes for the two musical suppers I mentioned last week have confirmed, so Donna and I are working on the promotional materials and tickets. Doors open from 6pm with the entertainment starting at 7pm. The two dates are October 12 and December 20 in Selsey Town Hall (so make a note of them!) The Selsey Shantymen and Graham Anthony are kindly performing in October to help raise money for Selsey First Responders, the Selsey Music Group and others.
The Shantymen need no introduction having been entertaining us, wonderfully, throughout the summer, but you may not be so familiar with Graham. He lives in Selsey and is an experienced artiste, having sung professionally on cruise liners and many other establishments. He has a large repertoire of songs and is happy to take requests so there will be something for everyone. Please join us for a buffet supper and what promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment and raise money for important local organisations.
We have our free buffet before then, of course, on September 27 in the Selsey Private Club, so we will let you know more about December nearer the time; expect a traditional Christmas in classical vein. Sadly I need to get back to it, but before I do, I must thank the local businesses who have agreed to sell tickets for us, once I have them ready.
Bit of a stop press reached me this morning: from 3pm on Saturday the 14th there is a Young Performers Musical Showcase in aid of the Christmas Charity Lunch. It is in the Selsey Club, so if you can go to show support please do. If you can perform, I am happy to pass your details on, or you could DM the Selsey Folk and Music Club on Facebook.
Tim, September 1, 2019: I was there - were you?
How did you rate the events we told you about this summer? (Do I hear “Encore” or “Rubbish?”)
I ask because we want to get it right, and because it's good to talk. For example, at the French Market last Sunday, someone I bumped into was surprised to discover Donna and I had meetings at CDC in August. I arrived early for one on Wednesday, but unfortunately the fire alarm went off and everyone evacuated the building. I wondered, briefly, if my being alone in the Members' Room had triggered something, somehow - it hadn't, of course. Unfortunately, the fire alarm coincided with the rain, so everyone returned to East Pallant House slightly damp, once the Fire Service, who got there speedily, had dealt with the problem.
To give us chance for a proper chat we are holding a free buffet on September 27. We want to hear your views and opinions but are not convinced a traditional surgery is the answer. So we hope you will join us in the Selsey Club between 19:00 and 21:00. In the meantime, we have begun planning some musical suppers (along the lines of the Selsey Music Group event at the beginning of August) to raise money for interested local charities and community groups.
If you want to share your thoughts and ideas please join us at our buffet, or get in touch in some other way. We welcome all input and feedback, wherever you are, because without it we simply won’t do the job the Peninsula deserves.
Tim, August 23, 2019: The G4 Connection:
What Queen song did G4 sing on the X-Factor? (Ben Thapa, Selsey Town Hall, 30th, 19:00) “Under Pressure” don’t go all “Radio GaGa” and choose the National Anthem, even if your mantra is “I want to break free,” you think this season “We are the Champions,” or you are a bit “We will rock you” after flying back from “Barcelona!”
The answer is, of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” There are G4 connections with Bognor, Chichester and the Peninsula, particularly the then Manhood Community College. Front man Jonathan Ansell, grew up in Bognor where his parents still live. He also first started singing to an audience when he was in the choir at Chichester Cathedral.
From the outset, G4 were Donna’s favourite act (particularly Jonathan.) When we saw the coming home footage I recognised Brian, Jonathan’s father. This led to a brief panto-style exchange of “Oh no you don’t!” to my “Oh yes I do!” before I placed him from the FE unit at Manhood Community College where I was teaching IT.
G4 reformed to do a tenth anniversary concert, in 2015, to remember their debut on the X-Factor. Since they started touring again in 2016, I have regularly taken Donna to meet them before they went on stage. Donna has come to know Ben Thapa quite well, and finally 'wore him down' several months ago to come and perform on the 30th August when he will be closing this year's Selsey Festival. Many thanks to Selsey Town Council for their organisation of the Festival again this year. Tickets for Ben are available. Click here to snap up tickets if you haven't yet done so.
Please say hello if you come along. Either way, enjoy what little remains of your Summer.
Tim, August 16, 2019: The French Market cometh:
What is your favourite French food? (France at Home market, 25th, 10:30 - 1630, PO20 0QH) French fries don't count but croissants do. British Corner Shop suggest ten French foods we should try. These include French onion soup, crepes and coq au vin.
They also suggest cheese fondue. I can remember “back in the 80s” when it was the in-thing to have a fondue set and gorge on loads of cheese. Since my election in May, I have been having more cheese (on top of pizzas) because meetings often start too early to eat in the evening or run on from each other. By the time we head home, Donna and I are pretty hungry so pizza it is.
We are not the only ones who like cheesy foods: the quiches at the recent Selsey Music Group classical event proved very popular. We are hoping to stage a fundraiser for them, and other interested local charities, in October.
There are three events we want to “see over the line” before finalising things: -
Next week, ahead of Ben, I will reveal the links G4 have to Selsey, Chichester and Bognor. Enjoy the sun (it’ll be back, honest!)
Chris, August 9, 2019: Selsey Village Festival:
Like all of us, I care about the Peninsula and think more good things could, and should, be done. With the encouragement and support of Tim, Donna, Val and other members of the Local Alliance, I have reached out to other like-minded folk and together we have organised the first Selsey Village Festival.
This takes place next to Chaplin’s, the Old Pavilion Cinema, in Selsey’s High Street between 12:00 and 17:00 on Sunday the 18th. The picture previews what we have going on, but I thought I would tell you a little more about some of the things we have lined up.
Jane Allen is having her head shaved for the Macmillan Nurses. As of October 2017, there were 4,555 Macmillan nurse posts across the UK, both in hospitals and in the community. They are all registered with at least five years' experience, including two or more years in cancer or palliative care. Some have completed specialist courses in pain and symptom management, or psychological support, as appropriate.
Most Macmillan nurses work in NHS hospitals or the community. A small number work in hospices and private hospitals, but do not charge for their services. As specialists, they assess complex needs, give advice to other healthcare professionals and support people with cancer to understand their treatment options.
Some of the other attractions include: -
It would be great if you could join us for some or all of this event. It has been put on by people who want to make the Peninsula a special place to live, so please help turn this into a day to remember. If you want further information, please get in touch through the Local Alliance.
Tim, August 2, 2019: Numbers count:
I want to commend our surgery: I know it can be hard to get an appointment because I recently saw four people queuing before 08:00 to make one when they technically open for appointments at 08:30; however, it was built to serve 6,000 patients but now has over 12,500 and is also there for our 100,000 annual visitors.
Since May, the Friends of Selsey Medical Centre have bought a lot of equipment and had two rooms 'made over.' We all know budgets are tight so as the surgery is such a vital resource, next time you're nearby, why not pick up a form to join them, and spare a fiver to do so!
On a related matter, a developer wants to build up to 193 dwellings behind Asda. Our reservations are well known (you may have seen our interview on page 2 of today’s Chichester Post.) Donna is precluded from voting when this application comes to Planning at CDC because of her ongoing, long term involvement, but we will be able to speak ‘from the gallery.’
The modified application was objected to by Selsey Town Council Planning in July on grounds of flood risk, density and the problems with infrastructure, for example the roads and other essential services, the limitations of which are acknowledged in the the current Local Plan.
The water table on that land is high. To future proof against tidal flooding and to dig a deep enough flood basin, the developer wants to raise the land - at its lowest point by about a metre. The proposals to slow down the flow of water into the flood basin may not be sufficient, reducing the capacity to store surface water and potentially make off site flooding more likely.
The Neighbourhood Plan suggested this site could be developed but has taken seven years to get to the stage where it may be able to go to referendum and be adopted by Selsey. Since then, Drift Field has been built and we understand more about climate change and the real risks of building on the coastal plains.
We have several other irons in the fire, but they need more time before they can be shared. We were grateful to be thanked in the Selsey Grapevine this week by a local landowner who contacted a resident who then sought our support when it seemed that Travellers were moving onto private property. Fortunately, a few well placed obstacles proved enough of a deterrent!
Please enjoy the good weather because sadly the summer will soon be over.
Charity Guest Post, July 31, 2019: Selsey Music Group:
International virtuosos Peter Fisher (violin) and Gabriella Dall’Olio (harp) have compiled a special programme of music from Baroque to the Beatles to performed on August, Sunday 4 at 7pm in Selsey Town Hall, High Street, PO20 0RB.
The concert will be Selsey Music Group’s first event. Selsey Music Group seeks to promote Selsey as a centre of music for people of all ages and from all backgrounds with diverse musical tastes. They also want to promote appreciation of, and participation in, music, particularly amongst children by supporting small bands and groups, facilitating the loan of instruments, forging links with music teachers and running events.
Peter Fisher is an artist of remarkable versatility and insight who studied with masters of Bohemian, Carl Flesch and American music. He performs widely abroad and all over the UK. equally at home in the role of soloist, chamber musician and director. Peter established the Chamber Ensemble of London in 1997 and plays with them all over the UK and abroad. For more than 40 years he has worked regularly with the Dankworth family.
Gabriella Dall’Olio was born in Bologna and studied in Italy, France and Germany, before moving to London in 1995. She has a double career as a performer and pedagogue: Head of Harp at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, and performs internationally as a soloist, a chamber musician and recording artist who has played with several major orchestras in this country, as well as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Bach-Gounod: Ave Maria
Donizetti: Andantino e Allegro
Spohr: Sonata in C min
Puccini: Musetta’s Waltz
Massenet: Meditation from Thais
Tournier: Deux Preludes Romantiques
Saint Saens: Fantasie
Debussy: Clair de Lune
Tickets are £12 (£10 for age 18 and under) and can be booked in advance by clicking here, or obtained on the door, subject to availability.
Tim, July 27, 2019: Thank you Sidlesham:
This is a short, extra post because I really want to thank everyone involved in the splendid Sidlesham fete earlier today; Donna and I were both impressed with what we saw. Between 1966 and 1979, I grew up in Shipley, a village which seemed similar in several respects to Sidlesham now. My father was Head of the Primary School and I helped every year with their fete, so today was a real treat for me. Many thanks to Mrs Rupe who made us both feel particularly welcome outside the church as we walked in and back to the car. I hope to publish my normal weekly post tomorrow but, if you know Donna, you won't be surprised to see the cake stall was popular.
Tim, July 21, 2019: Remembering my "Formers":
A week ago I thought this week would be all about Council meetings, instead I have enjoyed some blasts from the past which began with Louise who I have not seen since 2007.
Louise was one of my more memorable teaching successes. I taught her a practical IT "GCSE" qualification for two years. She worked really hard throughout that time and when she opened her results and saw she had surpassed expectations she burst into tears. She is now a regional manager for a national chain and travels across West Sussex. Quite amazing. Goes to show what can be achieved!
On the subject of former students, I was approached by someone who knew me from my Manhood Community College days as I was being shown around Ellis Square. She told me a lot of my former students worked there, and sure enough a short while later one walked by, smiled and said "Hello." I must confess that I struggle to recognise some of my current students on non-uniform days, so if you ever see me please say "Hello" (and tell me who you are!)
On Monday evening I went to an all parishes meeting in Midhurst. Donna and I really enjoyed the opportunity to speak with other Councillors and discuss their wards' issues. I was transported even further into my past as I ended up talking to a parish councillor from Loxwood; I once lived in Sutton and worked in Easebourne. He too was worried about infrastructure and development, as I know a lot of you are. Only about 20% of land in our District is available for new housing because so much of it lies in the South Downs National Park. On the Peninsula, roads and flooding are the main concerns shared with me. North of the SDNP I gathered the main concern is sewage: one councillor did not believe anything had been done for over 30 years to improve drainage, despite all the development that has taken place.
Earlier this week, Donna and I caught up with the other "minor party" councillors to keep channels open and find common ground. This week I also helped a concerned resident find out the arrangements the owner of a field has in place to prevent trespass, put a High Street business in touch with CDC's Economic Development team and liaised with another department about a business start-up.
The Novium Museum wants your feedback, so please click here and give it. You might also want to click here and look at application 19/00321/FUL known locally as "Park Farm." The modified proposal for building 193 new houses comes back to STC on Wednesday evening at 19:30. I will be in the Public gallery and hope to speak - you are welcome to come along too. If you wish to speak you need to ask the Town Hall 24 hours in advance.
Yesterday Donna and I went to the annual open days of the Chamomile fields in Sidlesham. Being new to this, I gathered we had to walk around 'taking in the air' for the health benefits .As we walked back to the car I snapped a picture of a sign remembering the Selsey Tram which used to traverse that very spot.
I also gained 388 pages of 'light' reading for a meeting late next week!
Val, July 19, 2019: Back by popular demand:
Many thanks for all the good wishes and your warm welcome of my posts. It made me realise I should update you on what I’ve been doing recently.
On Tuesday morning, Mick and I joined Year 5 from Seal Academy on their trip to the beach. We started at East Beach pond where the children took part in pond dipping. I have to say it was fascinating to see the amount of wildlife and vegetation they found.
Well done to all the children, particularly as they then had to look at charts to identify what they had found. This produced a lot of happy faces.
We then moved on to the Green and settled down to make kites. This was great fun and enjoyed by all the children and staff. Sadly we ran out of time to finish them as we had to get back to school but the children were going to finish off that afternoon. Sorry we didn't get to see the results of your Labour’s but never mind we had a great morning with them all.
On Wednesday morning I had the pleasure of visiting the Selsey Centre and all our park areas with Jenny Ririe, as I am a member of the Assets and Amenities committee. I had a great time finding out about our responsibilities for the upkeep of these areas which are enjoyed by the children.
I think the facilities that are provided for them are outstanding. I remember as a child growing up in London where parks were not available so we played in the street. It is a privilege for our children here in Selsey to have all these areas to play.
I was disappointed to find out that some areas have known, and are still suffering from, vandalism - even the new facilities at East Beach have already been vandalised. This was a sad moment for us all: if they knew the cost of repairing the damage I would like to think they would think twice before causing it, as the money could be used to provide more for children and young people.
We continue to repair and renovate the Christmas Lights which is great fun. I think we are on schedule to complete them in plenty of time for the celebration. Like me, I hope you are looking forward to seeing them in the High Street and of course at East Beach shops.
That’s probably as good a place as any to stop. Thanks once more for the warm wishes.
Tim, July 14, 2019: Honouring our pledge
During the local election campaign, we said we wanted to help the High Street so this week, we were pleased to see that planning permission, for the Crab Pot's larger premises, was given by Chichester District Council. The process began before May, but seemed likely to stall because of the rules relating to use of retail premises which Officers are obliged to follow. I 'red carded' the application to ensure it was considered by the Planning Committee.
Many thanks to the other Member for Selsey South, John Elliott, who kindly read a prepared statement for me as I was at work, and also advocated strongly in his own right for the application to be approved. I also wish to thank our Members for Sidlesham and Selsey North (Donna and Carol) who sit on the Planning committee at CDC.
On Friday evening, en route to the Southern Co-op, we bumped into a colleague outside the Crab Pot who attended the meeting and was clearly pleased with the result - Cllr Chris Dean, Town council member for Selsey South! Thank you to the two people who recognised me and raised a couple of things they have asked for some help with; we were also shown around the new premises by Ed. We would like to wish the Crab Pot the very best of luck.
Yesterday, we caught up with my elder two daughters and my father in Worthing. As Donna chatted to him I took a sneaky picture to show we are not all work and no play. To be honest, we appreciated the downtime because the coming week looks pretty busy - we won't get an evening off until Thursday (but that's for next week's post!)
Guest Post, July 12, 2019: Friends of Selsey Medical Centre
Lots of patients of the surgery do not know of, or are not aware of, the “Friends of the Selsey Medical Centre.” Our membership scheme raises funds to buy the equipment the NHS does not supply (or if they do it may be limited to single items.) We therefore supply the items requested by the doctors or nurses to make life easier and better for as all.
The surgery was built 20 years ago to cater for the then population of around 6,000. The surgery now has over 12,500 registered patients and also deals with those that are down here on holiday in need of medical attention.
We have just over 400 members from a population of over 12,000 - all at some time will require medical treatment.
Selsey is a lovely place to live. We should all care about the facilities and amenities afforded to us. I deeply care about our medical centre and would ask you to consider joining the Friends: there is no requirement on you other then to subscribe to the membership which is £4.00 per person per year.
By joining we can continue to make the surgery a nicer and better place to visit. As a member you will receive each year our AGM booklet, which informs you about what we have spent and lists some of the equipment purchased.
Last year we spent just over £12,000 on the surgery. Membership brought in just over £4,000. We survive on the legacies patients leave us in their wills. If you are not a member please consider joining. If you are a member thank you so much - I know it is really appreciated by us, and by all at the surgery.
Membership forms to join the Friends are available at the surgery.
Finally if you would like to join our committee you will be more than welcome.
Tim, July 6 2019: fetes and my father!
We dropped in on the fete at Medmerry Primary School this morning on our way to get the car's air con looked at (work makes this difficult in the week.) My father was a primary head and I used to help with their fete. One year this led to my "Vicar of Dibley" moment. I won a free meal for two in the raffle, and forgot about it until the very last day. Unfortunately the friend I had promised it to insisted upon our using it (after I had just eaten out with other friends!) If you remember "The Christmas Lunch Incident" you will understand. I took a photo to show my 86 year-old father, knowing it would take him back 40 or 50 years.
On Wednesday, I viewed a developer's presentation in Selsey Town Hall. After they left, I stayed for the meeting of Selsey Town Council's Planning Committee. I was allowed to speak about the merits of an application which will generate jobs, before it was considered. It was approved and goes on to the next stage in the process at Chichester. I also stayed on for the meeting of the Assets and Amenities Committee, which considered a range of things including play areas and work on the Town Hall's garden.
And to think, before May I would have been at home...
Tim, June 30 2019: cars galore!
I went on a school trip this week to the Science Museum in London. I remember first going there on a similar trip as a student nearly 50 years ago, which was led by my father who was also the Head of my school! My enduring memory is...the cars on the wall (and yes they're still there!)
Cars were also on my mind yesterday when we set off on a shopping trip. The Peninsula seemed to rapidly be coming to a halt (again) as we turned on to the Donnington road in Sidlesham. A lot of cars were finding alternative routes to our beaches, particularly the Witterings.
Keeping with cars (or at least auto analogies), as localists within our party we 'park' national issues and focus on the needs of our Peninsula. At District, therefore, Donna and I meet with all the nationals. This week we had a good meeting which mainly discussed meeting times; CDC holds all its meetings in the day but consideration is being given to whether this should be changed. A point raised is that this might increase public attendance as daytime meetings are hard for working people to get to. A change of time might also help councillors who work or have childcare responsibilities, but finding the best time for everyone may not be as easy as it seems and I expect may take a little while to resolve.
I will stay on theme and conclude with cars, or at least vehicles. Whilst leaving Donna and Em shopping in Portsmouth yesterday, I 'escaped' to Fareham. I was impressed to see an emergency services display in their main street, with shoppers, particularly families, trying on uniforms, sitting in vehicles and learning more about what they do for us. As it was such an idyllic day, I took this picture to share with you.
Val, June 25 2019: Seal Primary Sports Day
So, the last two mornings were spent at the Seal Primary Academy School for their sports day; this was not my usual Councillor duty but my duty to my two granddaughters who attend the school.
I was so impressed with the behaviour of the children that I felt it was more than worth writing about.
I have to praise the Head and all her staff for putting on an occasion that the children put all their effort into.
They all took part and did their best. They were so happy in all the races, I didn't see any of them disappointed if they didn't win - just being part of it was enough.
I also have to mention the two little girls, who despite their disabilities took part, and had a great time. Thank you, Mick and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Val, June 23 2019: Love your Parks!
Well I must tell you all about the fabulous day today at Manor Green Park. This was organised by Selsey Town Council. A particular mention should go to Sue Osborne, STC’s Events Coordinator.
Though a slow start, it was well attended, with stalls from both Chichester and Selsey Scouts, KTroo (girls on bouncy boots) Aro Kickboxing, Friends of Selsey Medical Centre, Air Cadets, Mulberry Divers, Chichester Well-Being, Manhood Wildlife Group, Slimming World and Bounceabout Inflatables. There were very tasty burgers provided by the Lions with much appreciated tea and coffee provided by the staff of the Selsey Centre.
I had better not forget the Ice cream man on his trike! Mick and I mainly kept an eye on the children playing on the bouncy castle so all in all, a great success; a lovely day enjoyed by everyone.
We took lots of pictures, but my mean PA seems to have rationed me a bit (I just can’t get the staff!)
Tim, June 22 2019: Offering a helping hand
We're keen to help charitable organisations on the Peninsula. Things we can offer include free webspace and donations from the fundraisers we have in the pipeline. Donna was pleased to be able to arrange for the Friends of Selsey Medical Centre to have a stall at this weekend's Love Your Parks event.
On Tuesday I attended my first meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which I VC. We looked at the help CDC give @pallantgallery. I asked them about how they plan to attract a wider demography. In particular how they might attract younger audiences by embracing things like Facebook's new cryptocurrency Libra.
I recently belatedly discovered that we are not the only Localists in the UK. I have a feeling we won't be the last either.
This afternoon Donna and I walked along the beach to the Crabshack (CDC speak "Selsey Refreshment Trailer") in Marine Car Park to update them on somehting I have been looking into. We took some photos of this view we are all privileged to share.
Tim, June 17 2019: Meeting the challenge!
I've delayed doing this because I was helping @CouncillorValWeller with her first post.
Last week was a week of meetings. On Tuesday I attended a meeting of the Manhood Parishes, and recognised common concerns people raised during the election campaign, that are commonly held by many living here: there is more that unites us than divides us.
On Wednesday I attended Planning then Full Council of @SelseyTownCouncil and drew a bit of a short straw at the end. There was a confidential matter so non-members had to leave. Donna told me it wouldn't take long so I sat in the car and, you guessed it, she joined me nearly an hour later!
On Saturday, Donna and I went to the annual meeting of The Friends of Selsey Medical Centre. Some of the challenges they face are common to other registered charities on the Peninsula. The Friends raise money for things like the hygenic, comfortable chairs in the waiting room, the telephone system that allows the surgery to cope with the ever increasing volume of calls and the screens on the walls that tell you when it is your turn to be seen. You can join them for as little as £4.00 a year - so why not?
From us all, June 16 2019: We're celebrating - thanks to you!
It has been ten weeks since we went public online. Yesterday our website passed the 1000 mark for new visitors.
To thank you for your interest we have made this just for you.
We use Google's free 'counting' service, Google Analytics, to add up the site visits. Facebook has been busy too - each month the reach of our our posts is 3000.
Thank you from us all, and please don't hesitate to get in touch with any ideas or suggestions on how we can improve our Peninsula.
Val, June 15 2019: Thank you (Christmas is coming!)
Firstly I must thank everybody who voted for me in the Local elections. Now, as a Town Councillor, I have a voice in what happens in our wonderful Town.
I have opened this page to enable members of the community to make contact on any issues they might have.
I am on the Planning Committee and also the Assets and Amenities Committee. This gives me an opportunity to have input and oversight into these areas.
My husband Mick and I have offered to help with the annual preparation of the Christmas Lights, which gets underway soon. This involves cleaning and repairing our decorations and obviously testing they work befoere they go up. I know we all look forward to a bit of winter cheer when the nights draw in, so Mick and I feel it is important this civic event continues. To give you a reminder click here for the article that appeared in the Chichester Observer about them two years ago.
Donna, June 15 2019: ...Friends Annual Meeting
Tim and I both attended the Friends of the Selsey Medical Centre Annual meeting today.
Have to say, it's the first time either of us have attended and we probably should have done. I hadn't realised just how much they do and provide, for the Medical Centre.
I have personally benefitted from a nebuliser (asthma) and blood pressure monitor (don't ask.)
The Medical Centre is used by us all and the Friends work behind the scenes to provide things the Centre cannot. Please think about joining them. It's a few pounds a year but will really make a difference.
Donna, June 14 2019: Sea's the Day...
Just returned from the Sea's the Day launch up at the Novium.
Fascinating exhibition celebrating our fishing heritage and local employed in the industry. If you can go, please do.
They also have a fascinating audio and a book about the fishermen and the project.
Tim, June 9 2019: a week of fish and making waves...
This was an interesting week, in part because someone tried to scam me.
I have been keeping on top of things. You may already be aware of the @seasthedayselsey exhibition coming up in The Novium. Whilst we're on the subject of fish you might want to click here to learn about the yellow fish scheme coming to our beach this summer. This is an Environment Agency initiative to remind people how they can reduce sea pollution.
You may have read in The Chichester Observer that Donna has inadvertently and indirectly been part of waves of a different kind this week when appointments were finalised that fall outside of the legal duty to allocate seats to political groups.
On Wednesday I had an experience I think could really upset some people. I stopped in Sainsburys Cobham to pick up a couple of bits after school and answered an 0161 number, only to be told it was HMRC wanting money. Things that gave this scam away were using an overseas call centre and US English terms like lawyer instead of solicitor. The amount I owed also kept going up every few seconds so within a minute or so, it had multiplied by ten times. So beware...this is absolutely not the way HMRC would go about approaching you if they believed you owed them money!
Before I go, I thought I'd mention we went to Stansted Park yesterday - our first visit to the impressive Garden Show. I took this picture to round off this week's post in case there is a little devil in you (too) - Donna tells me she's not sure who would want this in their garden, though!
Donna, June 7 2019: getting on with everything...
This has been a slightly bonkers week, but enjoyable, if a little busy!
I had my first Planning Meeting at CDC which is extremely interesting and I must say the Officers are incredibly helpful. I also had my place on two Panels confirmed: Infrastructure and Car Parking, both of which have enormous relevance to the Peninsula.
I'm managing to work out where things are at District Offices now and although I have no doubt I will still be occasionally spotted wandering around looking very confused, I've been assured I'm not the only Councillor who is directionally challenged! For that, I'm relieved!
I am really looking forward to becoming involved with the Western Sussex Hospitals Trust as their appointed Governor. I'm incredibly fortunate to have been given the committees, panels and the external appointment I requested. It goes without saying that I will do all I can to represent everyone to the best of my ability. D
Tim, May 31 2019: the truth is out...
As regular readers of my posts will know, I have been liaising with officers at Chichester District Council about an addition to our website. The results are now live - simply go to our "District" page and you will see all four of their live RSS feeds - news, planning applications, jobs and licensing.
I thanked the officers for bearing with me through a series of emails to make sure I did everything right. They even kindly produced this closing mock-up so I could get the acknowledgement right.
The rest of this page will slowly change going forward as well. Within the Local Alliance, we are working on some other things. For now I can say no more.
In terms of District work this week, you can see the post I made on Tuesday about our trip to East Pallant House. I have also met with several constituents and listened to ideas and empathised with frustrations.
Please keep getting in touch.
Donna, May 28 2019: one month on...
Well, it's been another busy week, more inductions at CDC and STC things going on.
I've also found out that I'm on the Chichester District Parking Forum and the Development Plan and Infrastructure Panel for CDC, subject to Cabinet approval. Looking forward to getting started.
Finally got my IT sorted... The IT dept at CDC have unending patience but I decided I had inflicted myself on them enough and turned to Tim to coach me - having a computer science teacher as a husband has the occasional benefit!
So, can't say it's been easy but we're both getting there. We are literally one month into our term of office, where has the time gone. As a present to myself I bought a beautiful framed print of a bee at a flower which was taken by @coastaljjuk. We have some seriously talented people here in Selsey. Take care all, enjoy the weekend and don't forget the Walking Festival.
Tim, May 28 2019: the Councillors Johnson in the big, bad city...
Just a short midweek post to share the photo of Donna and I going in to East Pallant House together earlier. We believe Donna's CDC device is now 'up and running' after our visit so she can get her emails. We also spoke to Parking about a couple of things, touched base with Planning about an application and checked on the progress of other paperwork we dropped in last week.
I have heard back from the Web & GIS Manager so hopefully will soon have something else to tell you about.
Tim, May 25 2019: Week 3, already...
On Tuesday, Donna and I did a joint post so we could quickly share the photograph which was taken of us after our first full Council. To be honest, I got the idea from another minor party representative who asked me to use his phone to take one of the two of them.
As the samples continue to go off to examiners, I have been getting on with "District stuff." My late in the day visits to East Pallant House seem to work well. On Wednesday I sorted both our ID badges so we can now access all areas. At the same time I helped HR get text to flow on to the next line so it is not hidden by the person's photo. I also followed up the disabled parking matter.
On Thursday I caught up with the officer who is dealing with the parking matter I have in hand. We had a good chat, the outcome of which is that I should be meeting 'up with him on site' during this week's half term holiday. I have also been liaising with the media and web teams. I now have the go ahead to share the following with you on our site, so if you want to know more please get in touch with us: -
Donna, May 25 2019: and so it begins...
Tim and I were both proud to attend the Annual Meeting at Chichester District Council this week as elected Local Alliance Councillors for Selsey South and Sidlesham with Selsey North.
We have our Committees and I am now also the appointed CDC representative to the governing body of Western Sussex Hospitals trust. We both feel privileged and assure everyone that we will do our utmost to represent all of our residents.
Tim & Donna, May 21 2019: it's a new dawn
Unusually we are doing a joint post so we can share with you all the picture taken of us after our first meeting of Chichester District Council today. We are pictured in the Council House in Chichester, which we were also given a quick tour of. We were shown a medieval mace and learnt that Boxgrove, Fernhurst and Oving are named after some early Mayors of Chichester.
We will have more to tell you about this week at the weekend, but as always thank you for your ongoing support.
Tim, May 18 2019: the week of the balancing acts
As I mentioned a week ago this is my busiest time of the whole academic year at school. This was compounded this week by OfSTED informing us on Monday they would be with us on Tuesday so I had to stay late to double check everything and arrive earlier than usual the next two days. I have also had to complete the paperwork, process and send off Year 11 programming projects and Year 12 digital media projects. This weekend I am form filling, etc for further samples that have to go off on Monday as I am down a colleague who has broken their foot.
I made the time to go into CDC near the end of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday. I got the last glitches sorted on my CDC device so I can get my emails and access key documents. I also finally have a pigeonhole. More importantly, I made some initial soundings about a disabled parking matter a resident raised with me, which I intend to follow up next week.
I am now boringly quite versed with Section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 which requires councils to make sure parties get their share of committee seats, particularly if one has a majority. On Thursday, therefore, Donna and I met with the other two CDC "minor parties" to agree who would take up each of our places on the four ordinary committees. Thanks to negotiations by ourselves and others, each minor party also has its own seat on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
On Wednesday evening I went to the annual meeting of Selsey Town Council (many thanks to the nice lady who let me sit next to her and the friendly resident who sought me out afterwards.) Selsey is in a changed situation because our party has a large majority: previously there have been no "political groups" on the Town Council so the requirements of Section 15 have not applied. This is new to all of us, so inevitably there will be a period of adjustment; however we are grateful for the support you all continue to give us. For example, earlier a nice lady spoke to Donna at the Great Selsey Bake Off in the Town Hall.
I need to get back to the schoolwork now, but please don't hesitate to get in touch if I may be able to help you in anyway. I make no promises, other than to try.
Donna, May 12 2019: having your cake and eating it (thank you very much)
I attended the bake off today at the Town Hall, we have some seriously good bakers in our little town, a couple of whom are youngsters.
Baking, I've decided, is actually an art form with a couple of enormously complicated offerings! But, the proof of the pudding, or in this case, cake.. is in the eating and I'm pleased to report that all the cakes were absolutely lovely.
A massive thank you to Natalie who organised the event and I hope lots of money was raised.
Tim, May 12 2019: in praise of the "Misters"
We enjoy going to @PicturedromeCinema in Bognor. Last night we watched a comedy film called "The Long Shot" about a female politician seeking higher office and the man in her life who assists her. It seemed to remind me of a couple of people I know even though he was the journalist, not her.
When introduced to people with my wife over the years, I have proudly described myself as "Mr Donna." At the end of this film the male lead described himself as the "Mister." Our recent election success means I know two more "Misters." I respect the way they are quietly supportive and there when needed.
As a former Mister, I salute you!
Donna, May 12 2019: harmony is restored
Yes!! I am pleased to report that Tim and I now have 76 'likes' each!! Even stevens... that'll do nicely, thank you!
Harmony has been restored to the Johnson household and a massive thank you to everyone who responded to my plea for equality yesterday.
Have a lovely Sunday, everyone - enjoy the day. D
Donna, May 11 2019: he's in the doghouse (again!)
So, I awoke this morning to a catastrophe of epidemic proportions.
My husband, whose Facebook page has only been up a week has reached 70 likes!! Mine appears to have plateaued around 30 less, even though I've had my page a lot longer.
This is, as you might imagine causing some unrest in the Johnson household so, in order to restore harmony if anyone feels like popping over to my page, hitting the 'like' button while they're there, it goes without saying, I will be eternally grateful.
Tim, May 11 2019: and so IT begins
On Wednesday, Donna and I had induction appointments with CDC officers, then met with other District councillors to better open lines of communication. We both left CDC with our new ID badges and tablets, but sadly they are having technical 'hiccups.' The badges don't open the doors they should, and we had to return to get the tablets sorted. Even now some problems persist intermittently.
I should explain that digital security is a high priority for CDC. Every year, they bring in 'professional hackers' to test how secure everything is. (I'm hoping to see them in action later in the year.) We can only access our councillor emails using the tablets we have been given, so if there is a hiccup we cannot answer constituents or keep abreast of what is going on.
This is peak time for me at school - the first GCSEs are on Monday and I am in the middle of sampling. We took some family time out this morning and met my father in Arundel for a bite to eat, but I am now back at it.
Donna, May 10 2019: IT and the CDC walk
Well, I survived the walk around CDC and even managed, earlier today, to get myself to their IT dept.
Many thanks to you all, if you read this, for your patience. IT is absolutely not my thing! There's a lot to learn but Officers and Councillor colleagues have been very helpful.
My intention is to do a weekly blog on the Local Alliance website, so everyone can see what Tim and I have been getting up to.
Donna, May 4 2019: the day after the count
Morning all. Well, what a day yesterday was! Lack of sleep caused my brain to go to mush so I thought I'd wait till today to post.
I'm overwhelmed, shocked, and elated at the result yesterday and want to thank everyone who took the trouble to vote. I gave a rather incoherent quote to the Chi Observer immediately after the count but essentially, what I wanted to say is that yesterday wasn't the end, we want it to be just the start. Watch this space!
Thanks again everyone, whether you voted LA or not, the important thing was to cast your vote!