A DEGREE of silence has fallen on Steyning High Street since the town clock stopped chiming.
Steyning Parish Council, which maintains the clock, was able to get the time corrected in December, but not the chimes.
Repairs are being organised by clerk Sue Booth under the maintenance arrangement.
Meanwhile, the finance and community committee has been looking at future maintenance arrangements.
Smith of Derby has been maintaining the historic clock for more than 10 years and installed an autowind and pendulum regulator system in 2008.
The company wrote to the council in October, offering a reduction in the annual maintenance fee if a long-term deal was agreed. Varying discounts were offered, from three years up to six years.
The finance and community committee was told a three-year deal would save around £107 and a four-year deal around £143.
It was agreed alternative quotes be sought but when the committee looked at it again in November, it was noted the town clock was ‘temperamental’ and agreed the maintenance was ‘of a specialist nature’.
Committee chairman Tim Lloyd proposed the council continued to use Smith of Derby and accept a four-year deal. Further negotiations, however, revealed the deal would be eligible only on payment of the whole amount up front.
The committee heard at its meeting on January 7 that Smith of Derby had since offered a five per cent discount, which it would hold for a period of four years.