Out in the Field with Chief reporter Annemarie Field: Street drinkers spoil it for genuine shoppers

SO, once again the minority have spoilt it for the majority and the benches outside M&S and the Post Office in the town centre are to be removed because of the street drinkers.

We’ve all seen them sitting there with their cans of Special Brew, squawking abuse at each other, staggering around and terrorising anyone who dares to ask them to keep the noise down or mind their language.

Taking the benches away is a shame for the genuine shoppers, many of whom are elderly, who like to sit there, have a rest and watch the world go by.

But now they are being removed after hacked off traders and residents quite rightly complained to Sussex Police. Instead the area is going to become the Langney Place Cultural Crescent for street art, theatre and other entertainment to take place with the benches being replaced with single seats which will hopefully get ride of the problems.

Thankfully, from this week police officers have new powers to move groups of street drinkers along and on Wednesday, a group of drinkers, having been moved on from said benches, were seen sitting around the bases of the tennis flags in the town centre.

I quite like the flags which is more than can be said for those unsightly ugly white cargo containers promoting the tennis which have been unceremoniously plonked in Kings Drive outside the hospital and on the edge of Princes Park.

Why doesn’t Eastbourne Borough Council remove them - along with the street drinkers - and put them back where they all belong - on a container ship in the middle of the Channel.


IT BEGGARS belief that, knowing one of its collared brethren had been convicted of child sex abuse, the Church of England still let Roy Cotton take up a position at St Andrew’s Church in Seaside where he had access to scores of choirboys and boy scouts, many of whom he abused there and on trips out.

There are now fears there may well be a generation of people who were abused while in Cotton’s “care”.

I spoke to one of Cotton’s victims last Friday morning, who, because of all the publicity, has only now come forward to speak of the horrendous abuse he suffered at the hands of the vile pervert. It was heartbreaking to hear what this poor man, now in his 40s, went through as a child.

Like Cotton’s other victims he has no faith in the church, doesn’t trust anyone in authority and has struggled every day of his life with the memories of what happened to him.

Cotton died in 2006 but that is of no comfort to this man or any other of the pervert priest’s victims. And the apology from the church is too little, too late.