From: Don Townshend
Pickwick Avenue, Chelmsford
Anyone familiar with the 2017 tourism book will recognise the words ‘breathe it in’ on the front cover.
My wife and I are regular visitors to Eastbourne, over many years.
Our latest visit was earlier in September this year.
The tourism guide quite rightly highlights many of the good things about the town and surrounding areas.
There is, however, a disturbing underbelly to Eastbourne which naturally does not feature in the guide.
One evening after a nice meal at one of the restaurants in town, we decided to stroll through the main high street to the seafront.
We lost count of the number of rough sleepers sitting in shop doorways, swilling beer and being generally obnoxious.
Some doorways just contained old bedding and general rubbish.
We were almost at the sea end of Terminus Road, when we encountered a group of young people blocking the pavement and passing a bottle of vodka between them. Of course, they didn’t feel the need to move, so we could pass, which meant we had to walk around them.
Later in the week, during the day this time, we saw a group of men lolling on the pavement, boozing in the middle of the high street.
There was a similar scene under the pier.
I realise that lots of towns throughout the country experience similar problems.
What I don’t understand, is how can a town which sells itself as a holiday destination, allows anti-social public drinking to go seemingly unchecked?
The Eastbourne guide has phrases such as: Kick back. Relax. Secret Eastbourne. Peace and Quiet. Café Culture. Shop ’til you drop.
The sight of drunken, foul-mouthed individuals kind of takes the gloss off the vision of an idyllic holiday destination.
Perhaps councillors and officers should get out of the office and take a stroll around the town both day and night.
The police could accompany them and even uphold the law!
Whoever is in charge of tourism should certainly welcome this suggestion.
Incidentally, my reference to ‘breathe it in’ has a slightly ironic twist because all we could smell outside shops was cigarette smoke!