Petworth moves to forge new links

Petworth Town Council chairman Chris Kemp
Petworth Town Council chairman Chris Kemp

PETWORTH town councillors are hoping to forge closer links with their counterparts in Midhurst and with parish councils in the surrounding area.

It is all part of a proposed new way of communicating with neighbours and with district and county councillors.

The matter was raised at a full meeting of the town council by vice chairman Roger Hanauer who said: “We have an awful lot of information chucked at us which we have to absorb, some of it is ‘need to know’, some of it is ‘nice to know’ and some of it is at a very much lower level.

“Apropos of that, would it be a good idea to restructure the submissions from our Chichester District Council (CDC) and county council representatives to have particular pertinence to Petworth.”

Agreeing with him Michael Peet told members: “It’s all very well having fluffy stuff around the edges, but we want to know what they do for Petworth.

He said it would be more useful to ask the district and county council representatives to address their meetings on certain agenda points, such as highways issues: “That seems to me to be very worth whole, rather than the general ramble which is what we seem to get.”

Maggie South proposed town councillors should table questions in advance through the town clerk for their representatives to answer: “if there are no questions they don’t have to come to the meeting.”

Mr Peet said he had been contacted by Steve Morley, Midhurst’s new representative on CDC who wanted to talk to Petworth Business Association and the town council as he was now a member of the district council’s parking forum: “I think this is very positive,” he said.

“We perhaps should work more closely with Midhurst Town Council.”

He said Midhurst seemed to ‘navigate the South Downs National Park Authority’ more successfully than most and he believed Petworth would benefit from talking to them.”

Chairman Chris Kemp said he was keen to adopt ‘clustering’ which involved meetings with other councils with similar issues: “we should be talking together a lot more than we do,” he said.

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