OUT IN THE FIELD: Gambling talk of new casino at pier

Sadly, there was never any legal obligation to replace the Blue Room after the pier fire of 2014
Sadly, there was never any legal obligation to replace the Blue Room after the pier fire of 2014

Gambling isn’t one my vices in life – not that I have many, aside from my love of Sauvignon Blanc and Amber Leaf rolling tobacco – but I agree that a casino would be great in Eastbourne. I’m not sure whether the pier is the place for it but it would certainly boost revenue for the seafront landmark which must be losing thousands each week due to there not being one slot machine on there after the devastating fire. A stroll along the seafront last week and there was literally thousands of students milling about on the prom, who in previous years would have been in the Blue Room poking their loose change in to machines and playing on computer games. It’s a shame there was never any legal obligation that the previous owners replace the Blue Room arcade after the 2014 fire. So, a casino could be good news. That said, there are lots of hurdles to overcome first, namely getting the green light from the Gaming Commission, the government body which regulates commercial gambling and which could even decide there are already enough gambling establishments in the town already. And then, there’s the heritage organisations which would also have a say and Eastbourne Borough Council’s own licensing committee. A good idea it may be but it’s nothing more than a pipe dream at the moment and it will be a long time before the ker-ching of coins will be heard again.

Talking of coins, I gather one of the shortlisted seafront structures which could be created will be made out of burnt two pence pieces salvaged from the beach in the aftermath of the pier fire. I think that’s a lovely idea and very fitting.

Once again this week, there has been a report on Facebook’s Old Town page of a young child being accosted by a stranger on their walk home from school. The latest incident happened on Tuesday as a young boy was walking in a road off Victoria Drive. This follows on from a young girl being shouted at and in fear of being grabbed by two men in Old Town and sexual assaults on young women in the Motcombe area. Some mothers are now so worried, they are suggesting a walking bus in the area. What a sorry state of affairs when youngsters can’t even enjoy the freedom of walking home from school.

Prompted by a handful of comments and letters, it appears our DGH is short of pillows, according to patients who have been there in recent weeks.

One ex-St Mary’s School girl wrote to me saying, “They are so short of pillows at the hospital and had none spare so I phoned my family to bring one in. I wonder if there is any company out there that could help?”.

Some people are far too sensitive. Polegate Community Association has apologised after fears that a poster – advertising its new comedy production Kindly Keep It Covered and showing a man in an open raincoat from behind – may have offended some people. The large posters have been taken down and replaced. The play is at Polegate Community Centre May 4-7, is a family comedy and an evening of laughter is promised.

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