When I campaigned in the May elections on the behalf of UKIP, most of the people I spoke to said how depressing the empty shops made the town centre feel and that we need to do something about the image it gave to the tourist who came to Eastbourne.
I explained to those people how the new planned extension to the Arndale Centre would act as a magnet to draw shoppers into the area and that would encourage small independent retailers to set up business which in turn would bring new life into the high street.
But having read your article “Meads Traders’ Anger” I despair at the logic of the council, how can it be fair for residents to be charged £25 for a parking permit but businesses £220!
The small independent shop owners are the ones who will bring the centre of town back to life, we need to make it as easy as possible for these people to set up shops not hinder them.
We should be embracing ideas that could help bring life back into our high street, schemes like the pop-up shops that many towns and cities are doing with great success.
The council should also remember that Eastbourne is a tourist attraction and we need those tourists who come here to go back home and tell their friends how vibrant Eastbourne is and not that the High street is full of boarded up shop fronts with a small multi- national on every corner.
The area around little Chelsea and the station could become the “lanes of Eastbourne” just like the Lanes in Brighton. But the council has no vision for the future and seems to prefer the easy route of filling the local shopping areas like Grove road, Seaside and Albert Parade with small multi-national’s stores knocking the independent retails off the street and helping Eastbourne lose its individuality and therefore a poorer place for it.