The local council planners have really hit rock bottom. Quite recently the Leader told us that Eastbourne Borough Council had enough ‘in reserves’ to pay for the £44m refurbishment of Devonshire Park, since when they have announced a new £33m scheme to replace the Sovereign Centre.
But, having previously said that their secret plan to sell off the freehold of the downland farms was to help pay for these and other schemes, they now say that they can’t even maintain front line services without the proceeds from that sale! Then, like comedy highwaymen, they offer Council Tax payers a ridiculous ultimatum: ‘It’s up to you. Either we sell the downland freeholds or your granny dies.’
It won’t wash. This muddle is all down to EBC. If the general public had been properly consulted from the first they could never have dreamed up the sort of shambles which the ‘Town Centre Plan’ has become, nor conceived the ill-favoured ‘Welcome Centre’, nor agreed the sideways shuffle of the Sovereign Centre to provide a few more building plots.
The theatres and the pier would be owned by public trusts, and there would be a coherent plan for traffic circulation and parking in the town. And above all, they would have insisted the books were properly kept.
A new Facebook page ‘People’s Plan for Eastbourne’ explains just how bogus the council’s ‘public consultations’ have been, and invites the public to say what steps must now be taken to expose the incompetence and arrogance of the EBC planners.
PROF JOHN PICK