Engineer’s concerns on safety at Eastbourne bandstand

From: David JefferyDillingburgh Road, Eastbourne

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:25 pm

I was interested to read the letter on Eastbourne Bandstand from Kevin Bowles in the April 16 edition of the Herald click here to read.

As an engineer, I too am very concerned about the safety of the bandstand and seafront shelters, especially as it is proposed to start live concerts at the bandstand this season.

I emailed the Leader of the Council, Cllr David Tutt, in August and December 2020, and again in February 2021, and have not had the courtesy of a reply to any of them.

Eastbourne seafront: Bandstand SUS-201011-132203001

As a result, I submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the council, for a copy of any structural engineer’s report. This was refused on the grounds of confidentiality. I then submitted a further request for a copy of the written brief given to the structural engineers, this was also refused, as it does not exist.

There is ample evidence of the serious deterioration of these structures, and all that has been done to date is to put in propping and to mask the defects with plywood and scaffold planks.

This is not a sensible response to the decay of iconic seafront structures. How can the council convince the public that they are safe to use or be near to?

The council has, in recent years, spent large amounts of money on purchasing retail units in Hampden Park and properties in Terminus Road, whilst neglecting assets that would only require a fraction of that money to be brought back into service safely, and which would then be a key part of our entertainment offering. In contrast, a lot of private money has obviously been spent in renovating the pier and re-opening it.

The council is also delaying the re-opening of the Devonshire Park Theatre, which has always been one of the key attractions that Eastbourne can offer to visitors and residents.

Motcombe Pool is not set to re-open yet – essential maintenance is evidently needed. Is this yet another vital asset that the council is going to let deteriorate until it requires closure?

I appeal to the council to get your act together – concentrate on securing the long term future of key assets needed for residents and visitors and forget trying to be very clever property developers. That is not what you were elected to do.