OUT IN THE FIELD: Council must get a handle on ‘toiletgate’

The new eatery at Princes Park looks good from the outside but who knows when it will open?
The new eatery at Princes Park looks good from the outside but who knows when it will open?

Two things are interfering with my chakras this week and while many of the good townsfolk won’t be at all bothered by them, I most certainly am. The first concern is the lack of toilet facilities in Princes Park. For months now the conveniences have been closed and despite protestations to the council, there is still no opening date. Not the end of the world you may think but any parent will disagree especially when enjoying the facilities at the park and your charge utters those immortal words, “Mummy, I need a wee wee.” It’s even worse if they need a number two and the nearest public toilets are more than half a mile away. The £900,000 refurbishment of the park is all well and good but somebody at the council needs to get a handle on what is fast becoming known as ‘toiletgate’ and soon.

And while we are on the subject of Princes Park, I have struggled this week to get any firm answer as to when exactly the newly refurbished cafe will open. Last February, much to everyone’s delight, we were told a 10-year lease was to be awarded to the University of Brighton for the running of an extensively-refurbished café. It marked a major investment of around £280,000 by the university which the council said would operate the café while using it as a training venue for tourism and leisure students. Building work began, stopped, then began again but nothing has been happening at the site and there is still no concrete news on a deal being signed between the university and council. A call to both the council and university this week has yielded nothing. The council says it is still in talks with the uni and the uni is saying nothing. I can’t help thinking that while the cafe was closed the council could have put its temporary snack venue, the iconic American Airstream trailer, in the park. After all that was the plan for it after it finished at the Wish Tower. The £36,000 vehicle was purchased specifically so it could be moved from venue to venue within the borough. Come to think of it, where is that Airstream hiding these days?

Today is the funeral of Angelo Errigo, a hugely popular Eastbourne character who had a smile for everyone and would do anything for anyone. Despite his illness, Angelo continued to work in fire health and safety at a raft of events in the town. Whether it was the carnival, bonfire procession, Airbourne or the tennis, Angelo was always there making sure everything went smoothly in his calm and collected way. RIP Big A, you will be missed.

Finally, this week it’s time to dig out your ball gowns for the Friends of the Hospital Ball taking place this year on Saturday March 18 at the Winter Garden. The event, organised with the Rotary Club of Eastbourne, will raise money for radiotherapy treatment equipment at the DGH. Tickets are £47 each or £450 for a table of 10, and include a three course dinner, live band, auction, casino and raffle. Auction prizes are still needed and anyone wishing to donate can do so by calling Peter Nash on 07770688866.

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