Yet the previously WSCC-run, now Adur District Council owned, Outdoor Activities Centre remains desolately empty, despite unspecific promises, and Burrscrofte sits empty ten years on. One can't help suspecting that here lie future flats or office blocks. Either of the latter would have made a splendid voluntary sector resource (indeed, an attempt by a local consortium of groups to achieve this in Burrscrofte when it closed ,in 2008 ! was summarily rejected by both local authorities).
The unasked , unanswered and politically unwanted question is in whose interests are these commercially driven, public and voluntary sector, austerity policies operating? The answer is a fixation with promotion of local economic growth - with no measurement of its diseconomies - and with feeding commercial interests, coupled with a public sector disinvestment in service provision. That's without pre-empting the enquiry into London's worst civilian fire since the War - though we are all entitled to our views on that, and enquiries don't always excavate at depth. The picture overall is not pretty, and will look even uglier when the hindsight of history becomes available to us, through the lens of what appears increasingly likely to be a changed public ethos, embodying renewed faith in the value of a public sector and its services.
Meanwhile, civil society - the local voluntary sector across UK - essentially passive, certainly politically frightened, seeks to hang on in there, fingers crossed. Perhaps it's past time to be more confidently speaking truth to power? When positive change does happen, the same voluntary and charitable organisations who were uncritically complicit with current policies will happily endorse their opposites. But on whose side were they when it really counted?