LETTER: Selling off the family silver

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Regarding the sale of four downland farms by Eastbourne Borough Council, it is a sad indictment of our respected council members that they would be willing to break the spirit of the Eastbourne Downland Act 1926, after the downland was purchased after a hard- fought battle to preserve this valuable asset for the people of Eastbourne.

It may sound innocent, just the freeholds of a few farm houses, but these were compulsory purchased from the Devonshire and Gilbert Davis families in the first place with good cause – to protect, cherish and add to the inheritance of Eastbourne.

The excuse for this damaging and controversial action is placed firmly at the door of raising money. Does this hold water, when such massive expenditure is being given to plans to develop both the Devonshire Park and the Sovereign Centre, which will place debts for future generations?

Surely the small financial gain is insignificant against these bold and somewhat questionable projects, given the general state of council funding during this period of austerity.

Eastbourne has a rich legacy of such rare beauty such as our downland. Once it has been given away it can never be recovered.

Harold Macmillan coined the phrase ‘selling the family silver’. You start with the knives and forks and finish up with the whole house. What the council is proposing is profoundly wrong.

Robert Armstrong

Harding Avenue

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