I WAS both surprised and disappointed to discover, on a recent shopping trip to town, that the benches outside the Marks & Spencer store in Terminus Road had been removed and replaced with four oddly positioned seats, each one able to accommodate only one person.
That discovery leaves me with various questions: where have the long-serving benches gone, and by whose wisdom was it decreed that seating accommodation for four individuals is an improvement on seating for a small band of people?
This vastly reduced seating capacity might just pass in the winter months but is bound to prove inadequate when holidaymakers descend in number on the town in summer.
I would certainly acknowledge that Eastbourne generally is not lacking in benches but those which formerly stood opposite the main entrance to the Marks & Spencer store were perfectly situated to provide respite for the shopping- phobic, of which I am one, while wives and partners indulged in some retail therapy in that and other nearby stores.
Now my chances of resting weary feet in that vibrant location while watching the world go by have been drastically reduced and I am left wondering why.
(As reported in previous editions, the benches were removed after consultation between the police and local traders, amid concerns over street drinkers congregating and causing anti-social behaviour)