OUT IN THE FIELD: New cafe opens in Eastbourne amid Boris’s DGH cash boo boo
There was much cheering and whooping on Wednesday when news reached the office that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said loud and clear during Prime Minister’s Questions that, and I quote, “there will be an additional £100 million for the redevelopment of the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital”. You could almost hear the Champagne corks popping among the Save the DGH campaigners – who were at that very moment trying to convince health commissioners not to go ahead with the plan to close the walk-in health centre at the railway station. But a quick phone call to the trust which runs our much loved DGH and the Conquest asking hospital bosses what they would be spending all that lovely dosh on was met with confusion and it soon became clear that Boris had made a bit of a boo boo and had got it wrong. Very wrong. It now turns out the £100 million the PM was referring to related to a pledge made in the run up to the December election that 21 trusts, including the trust which runs our two hospitals, would share a £100 million pot of money – called seed funding to develop plans. I failed maths miserably at school but even I can work out that 21 divided by £100 million is roughly £4.7 million or £2.3 million per hospital which isn’t going to buy much at all. I have contacted the PM’s press office at Downing Street and the Department of Health asking what exactly Mr Johnson meant: £100M for the redevelopment of Eastbourne and Hastings hospitals or the pre-election pledge to provide £100M to be shared among 21 trusts for seed-ideas. You will not be surprised to hear that I am still waiting for a reply but it certainly isn’t the former and most definitely the latter. Which is a shame. And I find myself agreeing with one senior Conservative this week who said we should hold Boris to it.
I’m sure I am not the only one to be completely bemused at the amount of roadworks going on in Eastbourne this morning. I live between Stone Cross and Westham so the main road has had stop and go signs for most of the last year. But the drive in is also dotted with temporary traffic lights. They are in St Philip’s Avenue, round the corner in Whitley Road and along Seaside at the Archery. I gave up on the roadworks in town when I saw they had made part of Hyde Gardens two way for traffic with absolutely no warning or signage at all. It’s completely bonkers and come the summer, most of the town is likely to be gridlocked.
I have two lovely little finds this week if you’re looking for culinary delights or somewhere to have a glass of bottled grapes.
The first is Taylor’s, the new wine bar in Station Parade opposite the library, where the welcome is warm and the toilets are a definite 10 out of 10.
The other is the new council-run DQ terrace bar and cafe within the Welcome Building next to the Congress. Their hot chocolate is the best and they do a good range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, light bites and, more importantly, cakes.