For more than ten years, I have sat on the Worthing Urban Transport Forum which met every three months in the evening at the Town Hall.

It was a unique opportunity for representatives of borough and county councils, the transport companies, the police, the Chamber of Commerce, trade associations, resident groups, the disabled, Sustrans, the cycling campaigners, and the hospitality group to sit round the same table and discuss various issues connected with transport, roads, parking, cycling strategy and even the A27 east-west corridor.

Now Tex Pemberton, County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, has scrapped us. Needless to say,

he never bothered to attend a single meeting to see for himself what we were doing in Worthing.

While specific decisions could not be taken, much was achieved for Worthing. On many occasions, the "lay members" came up with simple, constructive ideas or criticisms.

Many suggestions were later adopted. We also made officers and councillors aware of situations

or problems and remedies were brought about.

At what turned out to be the final meeting, the police gave us a clear picture about Worthing at night and a new right of way for taxis at night was proposed.

Had it not been for some good minds working together, we would have been cursed with the same chaotic controlled parking scheme Brighton has.

Worthing's current plan may not be liked but the original proposals were incredibly complicated and a lot of fine tuning was achieved to favour shoppers and residents alike.

The replacement is a "partnership" idea and non-elected representatives are not invited. As the forum so graphically demonstrated, councillors and officers cannot be everywhere all the time.

Countless times we heard them say: "Oh, we didn't know about that."

Groups such as ours are on the ground and can act as a two-way communication. If our county councillors aren't on the new forum, any views or issues won't be raised, nor will we get any feedback.

We strongly feel that with the "reorganisation" which took place at County Hall, we now have new people in charge of Worthing who are after a quieter life.

We have started getting emails questioning the role of the forum and asking if workshops would be a more effective use of our time.

These were historically held in the afternoons, when few of us could attend.

So we are back to the dark days of a few men in grey suits in Chichester making decisions about the town.

Brian Tompsett, chairman, South Broadwater Residents Association,

-King Edward Avenue, Broadwater