Herald Opinion: Let’s all hope that Boro can come back off the ropes

THE season began with a rush of goals, plenty of smiles and plenty of optimism.

Once again Eastbourne Borough Football Club were punching above their weight and mixing it with the non-league’s elite.

Fast forward to February and the mood could not be more different. Without a league win since October, Boro’ are rock bottom of the league, attendancies have dropped drastically and many disgruntled fans are calling for a change in the regime that has delivered almost constant success in the past decade.

Barring a miracle, Boro’ look certain to drop into the less glamorous Blue Square South. Some feel the club should accept their fate and slip back into a league where they can comfortably compete.

For many others, it’s not that simple. The likes of chairman Len Smith and chief executive Mike Spooner - and countless others - have put in too much effort over too many years to see the dream die.

To compete at the higher level, Boro’ need to operate as a full-time business and the way of achieving that is now surely the biggest topic of conversation behind closed doors at Priory Lane.

If relegation has to be taken on the chin this season, let’s all hope that the club can come back off the ropes with a robust plan to get back to the top flight of non-league soccer . . . and beyond.

ROAD USERS in Eastbourne will take a dim view if the county council were to follow through with its suggestion of switching off street lights earlier - or even altogether.

As one of our letter writers on this page today points out, motorists and pedestrians alike would feel increasingly vulnerable if those measures were taken on the seafront, in particular.

By its very nature our seafront is ‘home’ to many of our older visitors and the width of the carriageway itself means that many pedestrians make the crossing in two stages.

There are no easy options in identifying the savings the country needs to make and East Sussex - which is experimenting with the scheme in Heathfield - is not alone in shining a light on street lamps.

But again as our letter writer reminds us, wasn’t there a promise that any surplus raised from parking fees locally would go back into making our roads safer? Now there’s a bright idea for the bean counters of county hall.