Redevelopment of the Grange Site

Facebook: 22 September 2018

We would like to thank all who contributed to our posts on the redevelopment of the Grange site over the last few weeks, and for those who mounted their own campaigns. Kt Woodman, Carol Lintott and Gordon McAra deserve special mention. However, the decision stands. Chichester DC will proceed with the offer for a Care Home. We need to draw breath and consider our responses when the planning application is submitted.

Can we learn any lessons? Well, perhaps the first lesson is that we (the people and institutions of Midhurst) left it too late. In part, that is because CDC didn't keep us informed. Perhaps they were not obliged to. But when the Waitrose deal fell through some years ago, that is when we should have started taking an active role in proceedings; soliciting views on preferred use and asking questions about the marketing strategy etc. Instead we were content to let CDC do all the work.

The second lesson is that we can't force land-owners to do our bidding. If we have specific ideas for the site, we should have investigated ways in which we could lease or buy it from CDC. Too late now.

Finally, we can't force supermarket chains to bid for 'our' site. The retail sector is under pressure; new stores are developed as part of national strategies. But we could have set up petitions and lobbied the supermarket chains to show the strength of popular local support.

But while we wait for the planning application on this site, perhaps we should start looking at other sites in town. We (The Midhurst Society) will start separate posts seeking views on Dunford House, the NatWest site in Rumbolds Hill, and others as we identify them. Let's not wait until we are presented with 'done deals' before we react.
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Facebook: 21 September 2018

Those of you who don't believe in divine providence might want to think again. The forecast of high winds has resulted in the cancellation of Velo South on Sunday. According to the Chichester Observer, a West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We have been informed of the decision to cancel the Velo South cycle ride by the organisers CSM Active due to the serious weather forecast this weekend.

"We sympathise with those who have trained hard and raised money for charity and made many arrangements to attend on Sunday but obviously safety comes first in any large event and we are pleased the organisers are taking that duty so seriously.

"The Temporary Traffic Road Order (TTRO) will not be enacted and roads will be open as usual.”

Let's hope that lessons have been learned, and that if a similar event is to be held in 2019 the organisers take time to consult with those affected. If that happens, let's not bear a grudge; let's give the cyclists a warm Sussex welcome.

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Sussex Record Society

On 21 September 2018 we received this message from Martin Hayes:

"I’m on the Council of the Sussex Record Society and we went live with an online Sussex Bibliography 15 months ago. Between 1,500 and 2,000 users look at the Bibliography each month and it is the most popular part of the SRS website.
"You may find the Midhurst entries interesting and hopefully comprehensive as regards books. Indeed there are over 100 entries on the town, grammar school and Edward VII hospital."
Happy browsing!

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Swimming Pool for the Grange site

Facebook: 31 August 2018

When Geoff Thompson replied to our post about the Grange Site he had this to say:

"When the new sports centre was being built there were many rumours that this plot was to be a swimming pool, which was a very popular idea. It would draw in customers from the surrounding area's who are currently travelling away from Midhurst to Chichester and Petersfield. It would also upgrade Midhurst's attractiveness to anyone looking at moving to the area, especially families with children. It would be very nice to see this plot used for the benefit of the Midhurst and surrounding community!"

Swimming offers good exercise in a safe environment, something that would be welcome as levels of obesity continue to rise.

What do you think?

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Closure of Inpatients Ward, Midhurst Community Hospital

Here is the letter we wrote to
The Chief Medical Officer,
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust,
Brighton General Hospital,
Elm Grove,
Brighton B2 3EW
30 June 2018

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AGM 19 April 2018

At the 57th Annual General Meeting of The Midhurst Society, held at The Memorial Hall, North Street on 19th April, retiring Chairperson Sue Edwards thanked the large number of members and guests who had shown their support with their attendance. The minutes of the previous meeting, together with the Treasurer's Report, were approved and adopted, and Sue delivered her final report from the Chair. She drew attention to the steady decline in membership numbers over the last few years and the difficulties experienced by the Committee in ascertaining the wishes of the membership. Various initiatives have been undertaken in the last twelve months to raise the profile of The Society and to communicate with the wider community, and Sue hoped that this would lead to more involvement as we move forward.

Sue thanked her committee members individually, acknowledging in particular the dedication and commitment over a number of years of retiring members Malcolm Hutchings and Lesley Campbell. She then introduced Mike Balmforth, who had agreed to put himself forward for the Committee and take on the roll of Chairman, and his wife Sue Balmworth who was willing to serve as Honorary Secretary. They were duly nominated, seconded and elected unanimously. Treasurer Harvey Tordoff, Administration Officer Claire Cox, Membership Secretary Michael de Jong-Smith and Talks Organiser Peter Shaw were also re-elected unanimously. Mervyn Evans-Jones was thanked for checking the Accounts and was appointed Independent Examiner for another year.

As the meeting was brought to a close ex-Chairperson Sheila Ryan thanked Sue Edwards for her tireless work for The Society since being elected in 2012, first as Membership Secretary and then as Chairperson. Sheila presented Sue with an orchid and an e-book gift card and wished her well in her much-delayed retirement.

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