Time for some transparency

HOW refreshing to read John Pick’s letter in the February 25 issue of The Herald. I am well aware of his serious interest in the cultural activities of Eastbourne and there can be little doubt those in charge of the finances of so many events have a great deal to answer for.I trust The Herald will press the EBC to stop the ‘veil of secrecy’ and tell the public the truth.

We are entitled by law to know what is happening.

The Towner Gallery again featured in last week’s issue. Why are we not told exactly why there is a further £320,000 when we are in a recession.

We need to have a detailed breakdown of the expenses of nearly £900,000 with a note of the top ten highest employees.

The Towner became a joke from the first time it opened while at the same time disowning The Friends of the Towner who have been harmed beyond belief without ever receiving the real support that they need from their committee - a subject dear to my heart that caused my resignation on reading the report of the Chair, Elizabeth Muir-Lewis, in the Winter 2010 newsletter.

We all know the Towner cost several millions, but how was it financed and under what terms?

Is it correct the Arts Council ceased to contribute some time ago?

It would seem the White Elephant will be burdening Eastbourne taxpayers for many years - so let us have the truth.

Then in October last we found another crass problem had arisen in relation to the lease of the Wish Tower Restaurant.

Why are we not receiving an update on this matter? Which EBC legal beaver forgot to ensure all the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed?

This week we also find how Treasure Island has gone into liquidation - and guess what, it owed about £50,000 in rent?

Perhaps we can be told how much is owed to the EBC for business rates and other expenses.

Mr. Pick’s list of tragedies goes on and on and while writing why is it we do not have an audited statement showing the so-called benefits that arise to those who live in Eastbourne from the Devonshire Tennis and Air-show events. We are always being ensured as to their profitability but thousands of residents just do not believe it.

Transparency does not appear to be a word in the EBC rule book.

Michael Harris

South Cliff