OUT IN THE FIELD: Pass me the fake beard and dark glasses

A bus driver uses the other side of the road in Cornfield Road to get past another vehicle
A bus driver uses the other side of the road in Cornfield Road to get past another vehicle

Well I certainly seem to have set the cat among the pigeons with last week’s column when I suggested that the generous folk of Eastbourne think before they give, and raised the issue of professional beggars in the town centre who present as homeless but actually have accommodation to live in. In between being called spiteful, ill informed, uncaring, disgusting and actually pondering whether I ought to go into town in a fake beard and dark glasses to avoid getting pelted with rotten tomatoes, I did receive some endorsement – which satisfied my own peace of mind – from the well-respected charity Brighton Housing Trust, which advocates people should give their cash to a homeless service or charity instead of directly to rough sleepers to really help those in need. Not wanting to open the can of worms even further and provoke even more comments – many from people who would do well to put their money where their mouth is and try actually helping the homeless or volunteer at one of the brilliant charities in the town – just ask yourself the question when considering giving money to anyone asking for money on the street: Is my generosity helping to keep someone on the streets or is it helping to get someone off the streets?

Another particular hot potato doing the rounds at the moment is the Eastbourne Town Centre Improvement Scheme by the county and borough councils and it appears that plans to relocate all the bus stops from Diesel Alley in Terminus Road to Cornfield Road has been shelved. The plan is to keep the stops in Cornfield Road on the Bruford Jeweller’s side of the street but the powers that be are looking at relocating stops for buses coming into the town in Gildredge Road instead. That’s all well and good but if buses are going to treat Cornfield Road like a one way street as the picture above and taken outside the Tourist Information Centre this week illustrates, it’s not going to be long before there’s a head on collision. Or even worse an unsuspecting pedestrian being hit by a bus. Literally.

Staying in Cornfield Road and I heard from the highways department at East Sussex County Council this week that officers are onto the massive hole that is the size of a small country by the bus stop outside the bank. A spokesperson said it had been fenced off (finally) and is being regularly checked to ensure it is safe. The work required, I am told, is more complicated than simply filling in the hole as it will require some structural work on the road. Engineers are currently working on a solution. Let’s wait and see how long the solution to the big black hole becomes apparent.

There is some welcome good news this week though and it would appear that finally the sparkling brand new toilets in Princes Park, which have been closed for months, will reopen this weekend. We should all be flushed with pleasure.

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