79-year old woman dies in Littlehampton following an incident with a van.

Sussex police are appealing for witnesses following an incident in Highdown Drive, Littlehampton on Wednesday morning at approximately 10.14.

A 79-year old woman who was a pedestrian as involved in an incident with a white van. She was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where sadly she died of her injuries.

Sussex Police appeal (600 x 337)

If you have any information, or witnessed the incident, Sussex police would like you to contact them on 101 quoting operation ‘GEDDING.’

You can also email them at collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk again quoting Operation GEDDING in your email.

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Littlehampton Harbour’s Waterfront Festival, a huge success

Crowds gathered in Littlehampton harbour on Sunday, 2nd August 2015 for Littlehampton’s Waterfront Festival.

This popular annual event organised by Littlehampton’s Harbour Master, Billy Johnson proved a huge success with visitors. The RNLI treated waterside spectators to a spectacular display of their seamanship and boating skills within the confines of the relatively narrow river Arun.

RNLI Littlehampton Littlehampton RNLI was joined by RNLI Shoreham’s all weather lifeboat, art Tamar which welcomed visitors aboard for a tour of this very impressive vessel.

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RNLI Shoreham’s all weather lifeboat named the Enid Collett after the late donor’s generous legacy funded the boat which costs £2.7million leaving Littlehampton Harbour after allowing visitors onboard for a tour and to meet the patient crew who answered everyone’s questions.

Littlehampton HarbourThere was lots of water-based activities for visitors to enjoy including this amazing water jet which propelled the rider out of the water to seemingly walk along the river.

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Littlehampton Waterfront Festival attracted large numbers of visitors to the area on what was a beautiful day.

Littlehampton RNLIRNLI Littlehampton’s Blue Peter 1, an Atlantic 75 lifeboat showing it’s capabilities within the confines of the relatively narrow River Arun.

Littlehampton RNLILittlehampton Harbour Board Erica Littlehampton Harbour Board’s new workboat Erica strutting her stuff during Littlehampton Waterfront Festival.

Littlehampton HarbourJet Skis in action during the Waterfront Festival in Littlehampton harbour

Littlehampton Littlehampton’s new public realm provided lots of space for viewing the water based activities.

LittlehamptonLittlehampton’s new public realm links up to the recently built waterside walkway providing an off-road route from Littlehampton seafront to the town centre. The new walkway was a joint project between the Environment Agency and their partners, Arun District Council, Littlehampton Harbour Board, West Sussex County Council and Littlehampton Town Council. The scheme was delivered at a total cost of £22.5m and includes a significant new sea defence wall along Pier Road and Arun Parade.

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New and old. The new public realm linking to the riverside walkway which was completed in 2006.

Arun Yacht ClubArun Yacht Club’s dingy sailors were out in force showing off their skills.

Littlehampton Harbour Littlehampton RNLI beach lifeguards were part of the main RNLI display.

LittlehamptonLittlehampton RNLI boats on display.

Sadly, the seaplane which was due to arrive at midday had to cancel at short notice owing to the pilot’s wife being unwell. We hope all is well with her and a picture below of the seaplane landing at last year’s Waterfront Festival.

DSCF4918Seaplane landing at last year’s Waterfront Festival.

Thanks to Littlehampton Harbour Master Billy Johnson and his wonderful staff for putting on another great event.

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As always, your comments are most welcome.

Thanks for reading.

Littlehampton Flood Defence Scheme asking for a cash bail out from Arun District Council

The Environment Agency’s Team responsible for delivering Littlehampton’s £14.5 million Flood Defence scheme announced on Friday, (11th April 2014) to Pier Road Traders, that Littlehampton’s Sea Defence project is now overspent.

So much so, that they’re now having to cut back on the public realm enhancements (the landscaping of the scheme), and also asking the tax payer for additional funds to complete the project.

The exact figure of the overspend hasn’t been disclosed.

Reasons for the increased expenditure is explained in an email from the Project Team as follows:

“The contractor’s costs for the public realm are higher than initially anticipated due to the increased programme duration and additional information on work specification provided as part of the detailed design process.”

 

The email advises that savings will be achieved by:

” a revised design has been proposed that adjusts this slightly replacing some of the ‘harder’ elements with additional planting.”

Revised designs will include:

  1. Removal of the bottom two planting terraces in lieu of a planted slope with a steel panel visible at the rear of the planted area.
  2. Removal of 3 areas of timber terracing at the southern end of Reach 1 in lieu of planting.
  3. Replacement of southern steps, adjacent to the service access road, with planting and a shorter section of steps.
  4. Replacement of steps near the lighthouse with a low wall, maintaining a short section of pedestrian steps for access.


“The changes achieve some of the necessary savings, however additional funds are required to deliver the scheme. Arun District Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 14th April will be asked to consider the recommendation of a supplementary estimate to fully implement the proposed enhancements..”

 

This last line in the above paragraph gives rise to further confusion. Is the additional cash being required to deliver the original scheme as consulted and agreed upon. Or, provide funds to construct the revised downsized enhancements?

Essentially, Littlehampton’s Sea Defence Project promised at a cost of £14.5 million and promised to be delivered and ready by early July 2014 is now not only seriously behind in timescales – we’re looking at end of the year before the works are finished and then Pier Road will require works from West Sussex Highways Department, which will most likely result in Pier Road not being open again until early 2015 – but now the local taxpayer will be paying for what could only be described as gross incompetence.

What’s really annoying is just how many hours of our time in Pier Road was spent agreeing on a design for the public realm enhancements – this included quite literally days of our time – including attending workshops, consultation meetings, reviewing draft designs only not to see what we finally agreed on being quite literally altered and reduced in one simple email.

Why did we bother wasting our time?

Why were we so gullible as to believe that this shower of incompetents were remotely interested in how the final Littlehampton’s Seafront would look when in reality anything that was agreed could be instantly altered without any further consultation?

Here’s a brief overview of why this Project is both over-time and over-spent.

1. Engineering/survey flaws.

Despite being repeatedly told by traders in Pier Road many of whom have lived here for over 50 years that Pier Road was unsuitable and incapable of taking the weight of the large machinery needed to undertake the piling works, the Environment Agency’s Project Manager, Peter Borsberry ignored this advice relying instead on surveys by his appointed engineers.

These surveys proved flawed and it was only after a period of 4 month’s inactivity in Pier Road, the Environment Agency’s finally admitted during one of our meetings that a specially adapted crane bridge would have to be constructed incurring an additional £400,000 costs to the project budget.

My view is that the engineering firm  who provided the original flawed survey should be responsible for the costs that resulted in their flawed surveys.

Why should the tax payer have to pay for this gross incompetence?

Let’s not forget that this mistake not only cost a whopping great £400,000 hole in the project budget, but also led to lengthy delays to piling works being undertaken in Pier Road.

2. Timescale Flaws

Again throughout the consultation project, the Environment Agency’s Project team were questioned as to their timescales with traders expressing concern that the project couldn’t be delivered in such a small window.

These concerns were dismissed and the arrogant ‘we’re doing similar schemes all over the country’ became their stock-standard response.

When you look now at the sheer technical problems this project poses, you’d have to be an idiot not to be able to see that the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences could be achieved in as little as six months.

We were told by the then site manager that the piling in Pier Road would take 30 days. This during a consultation meeting. When asked by one of the traders in Pier Road how many piles would be needed to complete Pier Road, this was met with an embarrassing silence.

Who could honestly have any faith in a site manager who tells a group that piling can be completed in 30 days when he hasn’t even worked out how many piles would be needed?

In fact, it took the owner of a fish and shop to tell him how many piles would be needed and dig him out of the embarrassing hole he’d dug himself.

And, the piling in Pier Road is ongoing and has been since January and expected to be completed in May. A total of 5 months.

And we’re expected to pay for this level of competency?

3. Incompetent management

The contract responsible for constructing the scheme’s Site Manager has now been replaced.

I don’t intend to speculate on the reasons why he’s gone, but telling us that he could complete piling in Pier Road in 30 days might give you some idea. In any event, his replacement appears to have achieved more tangible results in the one month or so he’s been here, than what his predecessor didn’t manage to achieve in more than six months.

Why should the tax payer pay for incompetent site management?

4. Grossly underestimating compensation for Traders

Easy to see now why getting a fair deal on compensation was so difficult.

Clearly the Environment Agency hadn’t figured on just how great the impact would be on businesses trading in Pier Road.

Again, these concerns were brought (and continually brought) to the Project Team during the consultation process.

I suggested that the Environment Agency’s Project team undertake a survey of business activity in Pier Road in order to give them a better feel as to just how much their works were likely to cost us in terms of lost business.

These concerns were dismissed and no surveys undertaken – however the Project Team did spend time monitoring the comings and goings of fish in the River Arun and accessing the potential impact that their works might have on sea bass.

As we know now, businesses in Pier Road have been devastated by these works, which are ongoing and these losses are now set to increase seeing as the works will  continue throughout the summer period.

A once vibrant and brilliantly independent business location is now reliant on state-handouts to keep the lights on.

5. Excessive and ever-increasing ‘professional fees’.

What’s become clear with this project is that the Environment Agency is nothing more than a group of walking, talking pen pushers.

Any expertise/professional service  that’s required has to be bought in – and at considerable costs.

Whether it’s to assess trader’s compensation claims, or make a decision as to the type of pile used, the Environment Agency’s Project Team are either unable, unqualified or unwilling to undertake these tasks which then have to be farmed out private practices to provide.

Consequently costs spiral.

Ultimately, we (Pier Road Traders) were led to believe right throughout the lengthy consultation process that the Environment Agency has agreed a fixed cost contract for the works.

It’s unacceptable now that they’ve quite literally cocked up so much that we the local tax payer are not only having to fund their incompetence by way of providing additional monies, but also are seeing what was a somewhat under whelming public realm now being reduced further as they’ve overspent.

I have no doubt that Monday night’s Cabinet Meeting at Arun District Council will approve the additional funding – after all – what choice have they got?

In any event, it’s unacceptable that the public should pay for incompetence.

The Environment Agency will of course blame the weather and any other convenient peg they can hang their problems on. However, what they can’t get away from is that they fact that the fundamental principles behind this project were seriously flawed and data provided by expensive experts has proved detrimental to the costs and duration of this scheme.

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Littlehampton RNLI Rescue by “Blue Peter 1”

Littlehampton’s RNLI is a very busy station.

Each year they handle lots of calls ranging from stranded dogs to sadly, deaths at sea.

Here’s a few pictures from one of their rescues last weekend (15h March 2014) to a stricken motor vessel.

RNLI Littlehampton 7

The Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat “Blue Peter 1”  being launched from the RNLI’s station in Littlehampton Harbour. Blue Peter is an Atlantic 75 Lifeboat. Her twin 70hp outboard motors give her a maximum speed of 30 knots and she has a self-righting system in the event of a capsize.

RNLI Littlehampton 1

Safely launched, Blue Peter 1 turns towards the harbour entrance and the power is on to get out to the emergency as soon as possible.

RNLI Littlehampton 2

Photographing Blue Peter 1 as it leaves the harbour isn’t easy as it quite literally rockets past. Good news if you’re the unfortunate ones relying on its assistance.

RNLI Littlehampton 3

The blue flashing light indicates it’s not a training exercise.

RNLI Littlehampton 4

Before long it’s out of the harbour.

Then returns with the stricken vessel alongside where it puts the boat back on it’s original mooring. I understand that this call was to an engine failure. The seas off Littlehampton can be quite treacherous and an engine failure can potentially be catastrophic in the confused and fast running harbour entrance.

RNLI Littlehampton 5

Safely back in the calm and shelter of Littlehampton Harbour.

The RNLI at Littlehampton are always on the look out for volunteers, whether this be crewing or to help with onshore activities including fundraising – just pop into the station a friendly chat. Or visit their Website for further information.

To keep up-to date with the Pier Road Diaries – remember to sign up fo regular updates – just enter your email address on the top right hand corner. Please note that we’ve recently moved servers, which means if you have previously signed up, we need you to sign up again… (sorry my fault..)

And of course you can follow Pier Road on Twitter @Pier_Road

As always, thanks for reading.

Blowing a hooley, time for Arun Yacht Club Dingy Sailors to take to the water.

A Sunday treat – Littlehampton’s Arun Yacht Club Dingy Sailors take to the water to show off their impressive sailing skills. Close quarter dingy sailing in Littlehampton’s Harbour in a force 4/5 provides both exhilarating sailing for those participating as well as compulsive viewing for those of us ashore.

Aptly named – today’s event (Sunday, 2nd March 2014) is part of the club’s Frostbite Blast Series – you had to be watching to appreciate how cold it was…

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Arun Yacht Club LittlehamptonArun Yacht Club 1Arun Yacht Club 4Arun Yacht Club 6Arun Yacht Club 7Arun Yacht Club 5Arun Yacht Club 13Arun Yacht Club 14Arun Yacht Club 9Arun Yacht Club 15Arun Yacht Club 10Where’s the crew?

Arun Yacht Club 8Arun Yacht Club 12Arun Yacht Club 3Fancy having a go?

Littlehampton’s Arun Yacht Club are based on Littlehampton’s West Beach and are always looking for new members to join this friendly sailing club.

From the Club’s Website:

New Members Very Welcome!

It says it on our front door and we mean it! Whether you’re new to the area or new to sailing we have a place and a programme for you. We welcome new starters, old starters, restarters, curious youngsters, curious youngsters’ curious parents, the young, the young at heart, the friends of members, website readers…the list goes on. All you need is a desire to get involved in sailing at the level right for you and the ability to follow the Three-Step Starter Plan:

Step 1: Call our Secretary in the Club’s Office (01903 716 016; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are best!). If she doesn’t answer, leave a message and she will call you back. She will find out from you what you are looking for and then put you in touch with the most appropriate club member.

Step 2: If you cannot wait until morning to contact the Club, then send us an email using the following link: Arun Yacht Club

CadetsStep 3: While you’re waiting for a call back, take a look around our Web site to see what we get up to. We offer sail and powerboat training, dinghy sailing, dinghy racing, cruising, and cruiser racing

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