Your headline in the Herald [February 10] informing ratepayers that we face a ‘tough choice’ in either selling off our downland heritage or to suggest that we would lose some of our front line services without the proceeds of that sale, is nothing short of a cheap and cynical political trick by Eastbourne Borough Council. The retention of our downland farms at present supplies EBC with an annual ongoing income which has a long-term financial and environmental benefit far greater than a short-term financial windfall, which would, no doubt, be swallowed up in some new fanciful scheme such as the proposed new leisure complex or a celebrity restaurant on the Wish Tower site.
Rather than sell an asset, surely what the council should be doing is looking to reduce its liabilities. The obvious answer would be the transfer to an independent Trust of our theatres which currently cost us in excess of £2million (and rising) each and every year. This annual saving would drastically reduce the burden on Eastbourne residents and ensure the continuance of front line services.
The so-called public consultation offering to either sell downland or cut services should be dismissed and questions asked about the economic competency of the council officers.