Opinion

Opinion

Eastbourne is a great place for business

6+6Commerce is a wee bit tricky at the minute for one reason or another, either uncertainty of what’s going to happen with Brexit or retail generally struggling across the U.K. 
 In Eastbourne there’ve been easier times to invest, one might honestly say. However, over the last ten days or so I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a range of companies, from the well established to brand spanking new, and all of them are fine examples of enterprise.

Opinion
Cineworld in The Beacon, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190715-114313008

IN THE FIELD: New Eastbourne Cineworld reminds me of the 1980s – and LSD

I am not the greatest cinema goer. I find myself drifting off for a much needed nanny nap or disco doze during most films. If something really whets my whistle, in the past I would have always gone to the Curzon in Eastbourne town centre – rarely venturing to the Cineworld at the Crumbles unless I was dragged there by the Little Treasures, who joke the reason I like the Langney Road cinema is that it’s as old as me. Almost. Now, Cineworld has moved into its spanking new home in The Beacon, I was called upon to investigate and was at the gala launch recently for a special showing of Blinded by the Light, a summer feel good movie about a British-Pakistani boy growing up in Luton in the 1980s inspired by Bruce Springsteen songs. The movie was a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane and for me, so was the cinema. The state of the art eight screen cinema is on the top floor of the new shopping centre extension and while it is as modern as they come, the interior of the foyer made me feel as though I was stuck in a high tech video game from yesteryear. And on LSD. Joking aside, the cinema is a real asset to the town centre. It probably doesn’t help people at the other end of the town who have had the Crumbles on their doorstep but this offering is far more accessible. The opening no doubt hasn’t helped the Curzon either as the ‘young uns’ will opt for the more trendy Cineworld. While there is absolutely no mention of doors closing, I personally think it would be a terrible shame for the Curzon to not stand the test of time. It has such great potential as an independent picture house, similar to the Towner’s 80 odd seater cinema or the Duke of York in Brighton where you can enjoy a glass of wine, a slice of cake or even a pizza. Please visit the Cineworld but also take time to go to the Curzon for a more traditional cinema experience. Use it or lose it as they say.

Business
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OUT IN THE FIELD: Annemarie Field – You can’t put glitter on a piece of raw sewage

Everyone makes mistakes. I get that. And the Lord himself knows I have made a few. But the latest faux pas at Poo Castle, the Southern Water waste treatment works in Langney Point, has raised the bar quite considerably. Last Saturday morning, something went very, very wrong at the site and due to a complete power failure, millions of litres of untreated urine and faeces were allowed to flow out into the sea from the outfall pipes where treated matter is normally disposed of. That’s a lot of “untreated material” which then promptly made its way with the tide back onto the beaches and prompted a warning to bathers not to swim because of “sewage pollution”. While all this was going on Southern Water hastily arranged for some power to be brought to the site and by the afternoon there were more generators than you could shake a stick at. We have been unable to ascertain exactly how many millions of litres of the stuff was making its way into the English Channel because Southern Water won’t tell us. It was the Environment Agency that informed the media it happened over a 10 hour period. I am not sure at what capacity the brown stuff was flowing on Saturday, but a similar leak at Worthing treatment works in 2017 saw 17 million litres of it pumped into the sea during a five hour period. That leak follows a similar incident at the same station back in 2012 when 40 million litres of sewage was released into the sea, leading to beaches along a 10-mile stretch to be closed for six days. Southern Water was prosecuted in that instance and fined £160,000 with £27,000 costs. In all, Southern, responsible for the public wastewater collection and treatment in not only Sussex but Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Kent too, has been fined a record £126 million for sewage spills. And that’s not all. The water watchdog OFWAT found the company systematically covered up sewage spills between 2010 and 2017 and criticised “failings in corporate culture and governance”. And then it was revealed that during that period, it recorded mostly healthy profits and, for six of those years, was run by Matthew Wright, who received almost £2million in pay in 2014. Oh dear, oh dear. It looks like Southern is in the brown stuff itself. And if it hasn’t already, I’d suggest the company invests in some giant generators to keep on site should a power outage happen again. And be upfront about what is going on. As well we all know, you can’t polish a... piece of solid waste.

Business
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