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District Dispatch - 7 June 2023

With the sun shining, we couldn't have had better weather for the return of Chichester Roman Week last week!

Councillor Adrian Moss, Leader of Chichester District Council

If you joined us for the spectacular Roman Re-enactment in Priory Park, we hope you enjoyed it — please let us know your feedback in our quick survey (opens new window). By taking part before 9 June, you could be in with a chance of winning £50 to spend in The Novium Museum shop.

I'd like to thank the museum team for their hard work in organising the many diverse events and activities on offer as part of another incredibly successful Roman Week. For more fantastic activities run by the museum, head over to the Novium Museum's what's on page (opens new window).

In Midhurst, we're continuing to support businesses as they recover from the hotel fire in March. We've been in contact with over 100 businesses across the town to offer support and have assessed how different businesses are being impacted by the current road closure to vehicles. I'm pleased to say that following this feedback, we've reviewed and expanded the criteria of our £200,000 grant scheme to make it even more accessible.

Midhurst businesses that have been affected by the incident, but which are based outside of the initial catchment area outlined when the grant scheme was first launched, may now be eligible to apply for a grant. We've also launched a supplementary grant to further support eligible hospitality businesses, as we recognise that this sector has been particularly affected. The deadline for spending the grants has also been extended until 31 October. I'd encourage Midhurst businesses that have been impacted by the fire to email to apply for a grant.

We know that the grants scheme has already made a huge difference. So far, we've received requests for 82 application packs and received 61 applications, and the team are working hard to process applications as they are received. The businesses are using their grants in a variety of ways, such as increasing their marketing activities, purchasing new equipment, and supporting projects such as website improvements.

This grants scheme is not related to business rates, which are determined by the Government and which have separate support schemes. We're making Midhurst businesses aware that they can request a review of their property's rateable value,  to find out more visit the Government's challenge the valuation webpage (opens new window).

Our revenue team has also been in contact with those that pay business rates to make sure they're aware of the support available — the team can be contacted on:

For updates from South Downs National Park Authority about the work that is being carried out to shore-up the fire-damaged buildings in Midhurst, please visit their Midhurst fire updates page (opens new window). We are continuing to update our .

In other news, I also wanted to let you know that digital permits will soon be available for drivers purchasing on-street parking permits in the district. As a council, we issue on-street permits on behalf of the highway authority, West Sussex County Council. From 4 July 2023, customers will be gradually moved over to MiPermit digital permits, with paper versions no longer being issued or used.

This change, which reflects the feedback we have received, will benefit customers as they'll be able to manage their permits online using a secure account, at any time. We have a system in place for customers who don't have internet access, and a dedicated phone line: 01243 534500 (option 2).

Customers won't be moved over to the digital system until their existing on-street permit is due to be renewed, or if a change of vehicle registration for their current paper permit is needed, so they should continue to display their paper permit in their vehicle until further notice. For lots more information about this change, please visit our digital controlled parking zones webpage.

Best Wishes

Cllr Adrian Moss

Leader of Chichester District Council

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