Council is past its shelf life


From: Bob Watts

Vancouver Road

What a shocker. Eastbourne residents are to be saddled with £9m additional debt because the council can’t cope with big numbers.

This is a 20% increase on the original estimate. Even primary school children know £53m into £44m won’t go.

This situation was apparent at the end of 2016. No wonder David Tutt wanted to flog off the farms. The Devonshire Quarter website still does not acknowledge this example of monumental financial mismanagement. It does variously report the total cost of the project as £44m and £49m, so confusion really does reign. Typically, the Liberal Democrats blame it on Brexit. You couldn’t make it up if you tried. A competent project team will prepare a cost plan for the works and allow a contingency for unforeseen items; however no amount of pre-planning can accommodate changes in the scope of works involving additional and unplanned new build.

As a result, those Victorian Winter Garden toilets will continue to amuse us. Where was our part-time chief executive, why wasn’t he and his well-remunerated team preventing this car crash? We expect the professionals to guide the amateurs and save them from themselves.

Recent news items of a self-congratulatory nature relating to property acquisitions with borrowed money really are of concern. Spending other people’s money is a trait of the Liberal Democrats, they seem to have little or no business acumen or record of commercial achievement.

Please don’t let them anywhere near the proposed new Sovereign Centre, a project with an estimated cost of £24m. They appear to be only qualified to cope with bus shelters and the removal of planters. Examine their record. The Wish Tower restaurant, Congress scaffolding, further delays to the opening of the Congress (March 2019 at least), proposed sale of the Downland farms, acquisition of retail property which is already losing a tenant and facing changed shopping habits, an empty Buccaneer pub. What of the future? This council is tired and past its shelf life, no amount of borrowing and spending will save it. The faults are inherent, and errors will continue to occur. Time for change but unfortunately not until next year, unless there are an inordinate number of by-elections, albeit Liberal Democrats are not known for resigning, they tend to cling on. No comment with photo from our MP so far.