Herald column August 30th 2018

There is a lot more to scouting than did dib dib, dob dob dob, and ging gang goollie, than when I hung up my woggle back in the 1970’s but it is still as valued and relevant youth movement than ever. Faced with an array of achievement badges for everything from electronics to media relations and marketing that had not been on offer in my day, and a lot of blank faces when I mentioned ‘Bob a Job,’ I was invited to open the new scout hut for the Southwick 1st Troop.

It was a privilege to do so as apparently this is the first new scout hut in the Adur Valley division for some 33 years, the last having been opened on Adur Rec by one of my predecessors Richard Luce, now Lord Luce. It is an impressive structure built with help from a developer who built a house on surplus ground and with an awful lot of hard work from scout leader Mark Noakes and his family, who in the best tradition of scouts appear to live, sleep and breathe scouts.

It was fascinating as well to bump into a few of the more senior scouts who were apparently part of my Father’s patrol when he was part of 6th Shoreham and they used to meet at what is now the Rowing Club next to the lighthouse, and remembered him as a very dedicated and energetic troop leader. He has an old photo from 1951 when he represented Shoreham at the International Scout Jamboree at Vienna resplendent in full Baden Powell baggy shorts and broad brimmed hat. Now that was an outfit!

I also had a useful meeting last week with the Patient Participation Group at the Harbour View GP practice in Shoreham. This is the group of patient volunteers who act as the interface between patients and doctors and make some very pertinent representations about how services could be improved or made more user friendly. The PPG is a successor to the Community Health Councils which did a similar job back in the 1980’s and 90’s when I was a member but as with so many things it is a much more complex responsibility these days.

I can confirm that the meeting to consult on the new plans for the Howard kent site near the lighthouse will take place at Southwick Community Centre on Friday September 14th. The developers will be on hand to talk through the displays from 4pm and then there will be a question time session from 7pm involving me and the Kingston Beach Residents Association.

Final call also for my Pensioners’ fair where we now have 20 organisations confirmed for Friday September 7th 10.30-1pm at the Montague Quarter behind Beales in Worthing.