Pushing for answers on shopping centre

Langney residents affected by the closure of Langney Shopping Centre. March 27th 2013 E13160P' (L to R): Sylvia Lansdell, Stephen Lloyd MP, Ann Chatfield, Hazel Shelley Cllr Alan Shuttleworth and Doreen Philps.
Langney residents affected by the closure of Langney Shopping Centre. March 27th 2013 E13160P' (L to R): Sylvia Lansdell, Stephen Lloyd MP, Ann Chatfield, Hazel Shelley Cllr Alan Shuttleworth and Doreen Philps.

The owners of Langney Shopping Centre have been questioned by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd and the Gazette - but they are still remaining tight lipped.

The roof collapsed at Langney Shopping Centre in the middle of a stormy night on December 20, and would have caused fatalities if it had happened while the centre was open.

Traders and customers have said the shopping centre suffered from leaks before the roof collapse.

However, the owners’ agents London and Associated Management Services (LAMS) has still not told the public why the roof collapsed.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd has been pushing for answers and this week he had a meeting with LAMS.

Mr Lloyd said, “It is time the public were told clearly why the roof collapsed.

“The engineers and insurance investigators have carried out forensic testing which must have answered some of the questions.

“Eastbourne people are waiting for real information so they can be confident that all the right maintenance steps were taken.

“I understand the need for insurance issues to be resolved but Eastbourne, and in particular Langney, is waiting to get its shopping centre open, safe, and with a clear statement of what caused the collapse.”

Meanwhile, independent traders within the centre have lost their livelihoods and many of the people employed there have been struggling to make ends meets. But, traders say the owners have added ‘insult to injury’ by charging them rent for the period the centre has been closed.

Langney councillor Alan Shuttleworth said, “It is outrageous that traders are being charged rent at a time when they have no income and are suffering hardship.”

Cllr Shuttleworth said he was ‘disgusted’ LAMS was taking so long to release infomration.

Taxi firm 720 has also been charged for their rank outside the centre. See their story to the left. And see the answers to the questions we put to LAMS below left.

• What do you think? Are you a frustrated trader? Get in touch with Gazette reporter Juliet Mead on 01323 414484 or email juliet.mead@eastbourneherald.co.uk.