It would be churlish not to express satisfaction at the council’s decision finally to commence work on the Congress Theatre.
£850,000 is a considerable sum and highlights the level of work required to start to bring the theatre up to standard.
If you can read the Cabinet report online, and are able to overcome the appalling bureaucratic jargon, the detail indicates that this is merely the first step in what could be a very lengthy process.
I could find no information relating to the sourcing of the substantial additional funding required to complete the Devonshire Park Project(£30m?), and suspect that a sponsor/developer with deep pockets has yet to be found.
This brings into question what will happen in the long term?
It is all very well to have big plans but can they be delivered?
No information appears to be readily available regarding the costs incurred so far for the scaffolding that has been in situ for several years, nor the cost of consultants to bring the plans to their current stage.
It was also pleasing to read that an opposition councillor rightly challenged the current plans.
This suggests that democracy is still with us - although I do believe that our Borough Council has been allowed to have a comparatively free rein for far too long.
A temporary café at the Wish Tower – and no long term plan – plus a Bandstand in bandages, are but two examples of how Eastbourne’s assets have been poorly managed.