Getting into the Olympic spirit

Richard Morris

Richard Morris

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WHERE else could I start other than this week’s Herald exclusive that the Olympic torch is coming to Eastbourne.

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COLUMNIST extraordinaire Annemarie Field is relaxing at home this week after her jaunt across The Pond, so Herald reporter Richard Morris takes over.

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This really is great news for the town and means everyone who missed out on tickets, or who could not afford them in the first place, can still sample the Olympic atmosphere.

Personally, I still have serious doubts over the long-term merits of the Games – and don’t get me started on West Ham and the Olympic Stadium – but now the Olympics are coming, it is important Eastbourne gets to enjoy them every bit as much as London.

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A SLIGHTLY more controversial issue now. Namely, the Beachy Head Lighthouse and our campaign to raise £20,000 to keep it red and white.

As a newspaper we are 100 per cent behind the fundraising effort and will continue to back it until it is a success.

But personally I cannot help but wonder if there are more deserving causes locally more in need of such a substantial cash injection.

In an ideal world, of course the lighthouse would stay red and white.

But as anyone who struggles to make ends meet at a charity knows, we are not in an ideal world.

The RNLI here in Eastbourne needs hundreds of thousands of pounds to help fund a new boat. I can’t help think that is probably a more worthwhile use of thousands of pounds.

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AS THE reporter blessed with the job of reporting on the local health scene I know as well as anyone how much of a kicking the DGH has taken in recent weeks.

In need of millions of pounds in savings, slammed by an influential report and now criticised for its disabled parking. But one thing remains clear throughout all the bad news. The staff at the DGH are all working as hard as they can under difficult circumstances – many in highly stressful situations. The services we want might not always be at the DGH – but the people who staff the wards, mend our broken bones and nurse our relatives will always deserve our support and thanks.

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EARLIER this week I had a discussion (*see argument) with a colleague. My point – which I stand by – is that most people in a town of Eastbourne’s size would not know the mayor if they bumped into them outside the town hall and that a large percentage would struggle to name their local councillor.

I have been to a few council meetings recently and far too many people seem intent on scoring political points and making snide asides about those on the other side of the chamber.

Perhaps some of them need to realise most of us don’t care who our councillor is – just that they are doing the best job they can.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Come election time most people tick a box based on the party, not the candidate’s name. Or am I as misguided as my colleague suggests?