Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan: The People’s Plan

As members of valued local community groups, may I please draw your attention to the Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan which after seven long years of hard work by local people, has finally been passed through all the required stages to now be put to a public vote.  

The people of Horsham town are now invited to choose whether or not to accept Horsham’s “Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan”.   The Plan, which was created over many years by local residents, workers and visitors, will designate 23 specific areas within Horsham Town as ‘Local Green Spaces’ and will also ensure that green corridors (such as the Riverside Walk) are maintained for people and wildlife.  The plan does not allocate sites for housing development but includes many important policies such as providing affordable homes and keeping Horsham a distinctive market town.  

So please make all opinions count by using your vote on 20th October, as local people of all ages and with diverse politics and interests have genuinely worked hard together for many years to produce this offering, our Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan.

The Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan  can be viewed in full on the HDC website.

Horsham Matters

Horsham Matters are promoting their Household Budget Support Services, which includes benefit and debt advice to ensure everyone is making the most of their money and getting the benefits they are entitled too.  Horsham Matters have seen a huge increase in the number of people using their foodbank, and with the cost of living going up, they are expecting to see this number continue to rise.

West Sussex Bus Routes – Price Cap

We are delighted to share with you the recent news release from West Sussex County Council about a cap on local bus fares.

Just the ticket: get around for £2 or less on most West Sussex bus routes in New Year

A new scheme is giving people the opportunity this winter to pay less to travel by bus in West Sussex – and the whole of England.

From now until 31 March, 2023, a single bus journey will cost no more than £2 on most routes under the Department for Transport’s Help for Households funded Bus Fare Cap.

Buses Minister Richard Holden said: “Bus travel remains the most popular form of public transport in England, making up around half of all journeys. That’s why we’re investing £60million to cap single bus fares at £2 to support every passenger and help get people back on the bus. 

“With the scheme set to take two million car journeys off the road, it’s fantastic to see so many bus operators signing up to the fare cap, helping people to ‘Get Around for £2’ between the 1st January and 31st March.” 

There has been a gradual return to the buses in West Sussex since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. Bus companies have been working hard to encourage people to get back on board and have made many improvements: passengers will find better ventilated vehicles since before the pandemic, with more advanced cleaning regimes used by the bus operators. Many of their vehicles have free Wi-Fi and all have contactless payment now.

Joy Dennis, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The £2 fare cap is a great opportunity for people to get on board buses for less: they can save money on petrol costs while keeping in touch with friends and family, travelling to appointments or work, or exploring our beautiful towns and countryside.

“Buses provide a more sustainable way to travel and are a vital link for residents to access key services including healthcare, education, shops and leisure facilities, and can help combat social isolation, too.”

For more information, including the weblinks to the main participating bus operators in West Sussex please click here.

NB: there are no changes to the national bus pass scheme for older and disabled people. Free bus pass holders will continue to receive free travel under the terms of that scheme.

Horsham Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan

We are pleased to inform you the Horsham Blueprint Plan was ‘made’ at HDC’s Full Council meeting on 14th December. Full details of the plan can be found here.

Full weight to the policies within the plan will now be applied when planning applications in the neighbourhood plan area are being considered and as a result of the plan, the following Local Green Spaces in Trafalgar area have been given ‘green belt protection’ against development: Victory Road recreation ground, Redford Avenue football field, Pennybrook Green and the Churchill Avenue green space.

Frances Haigh, a former District Councillor in Horsham has offered the following comments on the Horsham Blueprint Neighbourhood Plan:

‘I would like to send my congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for Horsham Town. This has been an immense task.

A core group of people from the Town have persevered over many years to produce this plan: Trudie Mitchell from Denne, Diane Sumpter and Graham Sitton from Forest, Morag Warrack and previously David Moore and Mary Crosbie from Trafalgar, David Searle from Horsham Town Community Partnership, Ron Bates from the Horsham Society and Sue Brundish from Horsham in Bloom, as well as District Councillors Godfrey Newman, Ruth Fletcher, Martin Boffey and myself. The Forum has been very ably led by Andrew Cooke, who has been involved right from the start, helping to bring together all of the Town’s organisations and finally to produce the Neighbourhood Plan which is the document before you tonight.

Above all, this is the Town’s Plan. It could not have been produced without the contributions of ideas from many of the people who live and work in the Town. Hundreds of people filled in postcards, answered questions at consultation events, produced drawings or designed the Town in Minecraft.  The Forum has been supported by local business people, including Gill Buchanan of Swan Walk, who gifted the use of empty shops for the Forum’s events. Others helped with artwork or advertising.

I should also say thank you to Angela Koch of Imagine Places, who helped get the whole process started and especial thanks to Alison Eardley who worked on the final plan.

There have been others who have played a role, and I apologise if I do not name them all: thanks go to each and every one who shared their ideas for the future of Horsham Town’.

Fire Pit Carols at Holy Trinity Church – Saturday 17th December 2022

Holy Trinity Church on Rushams Road, will hold their annual Fire Pit Carols event on Saturday 17th December from 5pm – 7pm. where a Brass band will accompany them. There will be communal carol singing on the front lawn with free mulled wine and refreshments. Donations will be gratefully accepted on the day for “Turning Tides”, the homeless charity who are opening a new centre in Roffey.

Also, on Monday19th December from 7pm – 9pm singers from Holy Trinity and Trafalgar Road Baptist Church will be singing around the Trafalgar area and collecting money for Action Medical Research for Children, the charity based on North Parade.

Fire Pit poster 2022 Brass Band

Greenway Academy – Planning Application with HDC

Horsham District Council has received a planning application for the demolition of the existing school buildings at Greenway Academy and the construction of a new part two storey, part single storey teaching block with external play areas, canopy, photovoltaic panels and landscaping

Further details of the application can be found here.

Residents are invited to submit comments on this proposal by Wednesday 23rd November 2022

Don’t forget about Citizens Advice in West Sussex!

Citizens Advice in West Sussex are here to support you. With the cost of living affecting many people, we want to provide as much support and information to our residents as possible.

Knowing what options are available and getting support early is important to prevent further issues arising.

Here are our key tips:

  • Act Early – getting support as soon as you can will help you to feel in control of managing your money and prevent any future problems. It is never too late to reach out though, and we will help you to find the right support whatever your situation
  • Check your benefit entitlement – There are many benefits available depending on your circumstances. Our advisors can help you to work out what you can claim by using our handy Benefits Calculator
  • Work out your budget and maximise your income – we can help you to look at ways to increase your income, support you with managing debt, and find out if you could save money on your bills
  • Start tackling your debts – if you have debt and are struggling to manage, there is help available. Contacting Citizens Advice National Debt Service is a great first step, and we can talk through your options together 
  • Check what help you can get from the Government and your local council – You might be eligible for help with the cost of things like childcare, travel, food, energy bills or healthcare
  • If you’re 55 or over, get free guidance from Pensionwise – a government backed service that can help you make an informed decision about your options for taking money from your pension pots.

We have pulled together a webpage full of helpful information and links to help you find the support you need, visit (https://www.advicewestsussex.org.uk/advice/cost-of-living/)

Alternatively, you can call us on Advice Line for support: 0808 278 7969 or visit your local office.