OUT IN THE FIELD: Bring in the Japanese to fix the road

This photograph sent in by Martin Gratz shows his wife Christina with the supermoon at Beachy Head
This photograph sent in by Martin Gratz shows his wife Christina with the supermoon at Beachy Head

Eastbourne’s taxi saga rumbles on and we are told this week by the council that in the last year it has “robustly investigated” 44 complaints and not 34 as we were originally informed. Thankfully the story and hype surrounding it saw two crackdowns at the weekend when council officers did spot checks on taxis at the railway station. They found everything to be in order which is good news but what is worrying is that in the last few days other issues have come to light including the fact that some licensed drivers may be working up to 18 hours a day to bring in the cash, there have been seven complaints of drivers harassing passengers and there are unlicensed drivers out there. The next meeting of the council’s licensing committee – which oversees taxis and private hire issues – is in January and hopefully some of these issues will be addressed then if not before. I gather only three of the last 13 planned licensing meetings were actually held and 10 were cancelled. The most important thing though is that anyone who has an issue with a driver, whether they be from a reputable firm or one of the numerous independent vehicles operating, should get the driver’s badge number and report it to the council.

I have much sympathy with people living around Moy Avenue who will be delighted to learn that plans to put 95 flats on the site of the former BT Exchange have been thrown out by town planners. That said, however, developers have already said they will appeal and councillors who refused the application on Tuesday night were warned in advance that to refuse the application ‘would be likely to result at appeal to an award of costs against the council, or taxpayers, for unreasonable behaviour’. The site has been empty for years, it’s a target for vandals and at the end of the day new homes need to be built as a matter of urgency. While the neighbours may not like the idea of the flats being built in their back yard, I have a funny feeling a government planning inspector’s view will be entirely different and when it comes to it will allow it to go through.

I haven’t had too much cause of late to berate our friends at the Highways department but my compadre and drinking buddy Tony Sweetman brought to my attention this week the state of the road by the bus stop in Cornfield Road outside the NatWest Bank. It’s been in a dreadful state for what seems like months now and, as Mr Sweetman quite rightly points out, if the Japanese can repair a sinkhole the size of an Olympic swimming pool in just one week, why can’t the county council do something about the dog’s dinner in the middle of a busy shopping area?

I didn’t get to see the supermoon this week but thankfully readers have sent in some stunning photos. My favourite was the one taken by Austrian visitor and student at EF Martin Gratz who took this lovely photo of his wife Christina and the supermoon at Beachy Head.

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