west sussex county council

Safe Place Scheme – Could your shop or restaurant be a safe haven?


Safe Place Scheme Worthing

West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police have recently launched a Safe Place Scheme in West Sussex.

At last night’s Broadwater Neighbourhood Panel meeting, Gary Capelin of West Sussex County Council gave us an interesting talk about The Safe Place Scheme. Gary has worked with people with learning difficulties for 25 years and explained how their lives have changed dramatically. Many people with learning difficulties have lived in institutions for much of their life and within a short time they have had to learn how to live as part of society. Inclusion is a good thing Gary says, the problem is that the public have not been properly educated on how to include diversity and therefore, people with learning disabilities face prejudice and social barriers throughout their lives. The Safe Place Scheme has been launched to help people with learning difficulties to find safety if they are feeling vulnerable.


What is the Safe Place Scheme?

The Safe Place Scheme aims to help people with learning disabilities across the county who feel they are being bullied, abused or harassed while they are out and about.

West Sussex County Council is looking for ‘safe places’, such as restaurants, shops and pubs. These safe places are being asked to place an easily identifiable sticker in their window. That way, people will know where there is a safe place if they feel threatened and need help. The safe places are carefully vetted by West Sussex County Council.

Vulnerable people with learning difficulties who join the scheme carry a Safe Place identity (ID) card. They can show this to the staff of participating shops and businesses. The card will carry that person’s name and the contact number of someone they trust. If a vulnerable person who is a member needs help, they will present their ID card to the manager or staff at the safe place.

Do you know someone in Broadwater and Worthing who has a shop or restaurant who could participate? All  participating venues have to do is:

Call the person’s contact number – or, if they have been the victim of a crime, the Sussex Police non-emergency number (101); and offer them a safe haven until help arrives or their concerns have been addressed.

If you would like to find out more about the Safe Place Scheme, contact gary.capelin@westsussex.gov.uk or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/safeplace.

You can find out more about people with disabilities at:  www.learningdisabilities.org.uk

Worthing Conservative County Councillors secure investment package for Worthing schools

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has confirmed an investment package of £30m for schools in the Worthing area, which could see a change in the age children transfer to secondary schools. The county has already secured a £20m Government grant to cope with increasing pupil numbers in the Worthing area. Around £13m of this will be used to build a new 900-pupil secondary school following a large influx of children in the Worthing area. The school will be built on surplus land currently owned by Northbrook College in Broadwater.

Worthing Conservative Lobbying Power
At a time when WSCC are finding savings of £141 million over the next 4 years they are investing £10 Million of WSCC monies in this project. Paul Yallop, Leader of Worthing Borough Council said: “I believe this to be a testament of the resolve and lobbying of the six new Worthing Conservative County Councillors following the report from JOSC last year.”

In addition to this the County Council has now said it is prepared to invest £10m of its own resources in the town’s schools and is to consult on the planned improvements. One of the main proposed changes will be that children should start secondary school at the age of 11 instead of 12. This proposed ‘Age of Transfer’ change would bring Worthing in line with most other schools in the country. All parents will be consulted for their views on the best way to make the changes.

“Funding the Age of Transfer scheme has become a priority for the County Council,” explained Peter Evans, Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life.

“That is why we have been able to find this significant amount of money for these improvements. Although the council is facing huge financial pressures across all of its services, we see this as a golden opportunity for the children of Worthing. We have a site for the new school, and we now have the funds available.

“We are not intending to close or merge any schools so these changes will build on the strengths of the current schools and their teachers. We have worked closely with schools to bring forward these proposals and will continue to do so.”

The consultation document, which is due to be published in November, will contain details of proposals for each school in the Worthing area, including proposals for additional places at other secondary schools.

Public meetings will be held for schools where changes are proposed.
If the proposals are approved it is expected they would be in place by September 2015.

Background information –

Children in the Worthing area currently transfer from a first school at age 8 to a middle school, and then at age 12 to a secondary school.