I have just received the council’s Eastbourne Review giving a clear outline of the reasons for wanting to sell the downland farms under its protectorate.
Before I make any comments on this, I would like to state how much I value the good work that the Liberal Democrat-led party at the Town Hall has done over many years. Good leadership and a well balanced economy has steered the town to where it is today. However, sometimes the excitement of creating something shiny and new can blind us to the uniqueness of the past. On the face of it, why should the sale of a few old farms on the downs matter that much, when we can do so much better with the cash from selling them.
Sometimes certain things are priceless – like clean air, good health and a kind and fair society. Our downs come into this category. We have always believed and understood that ‘our’ downs belong to Eastbourne in perpetuity, no matter whether we are told otherwise. The sale of these properties to fund the reorganisation of a lookalike modern town just doesn’t equate.
The downs are not just pieces of property to be sold off when finance is tight, they mean much, much more. It goes much deeper, as we have a deep love and appreciation of this unique countryside. It is something noble that Eastbourne stands for. We are proud that our former (1926) councillors had such foresight to bequeath this land to the town to be cherished and protected for future generations. So please think again, and don’t make the deal a bargaining chip against cutting vital social services. Build a bit less and slower. What’s to stop future councils from selling off the rest of the land once you’ve set a precedent. Why not get an Act in place that really protects this priceless asset in perpetuity.