The Letters page in last week’s Herald was of exceptional interest. That was due to the number of letters you published expressing grave concerns should Eastbourne Borough Council decide to lift the ban on cycling on the seafront. One wonders, however, how many readers who approved of the views expressed immediately foresaw the day, not so far ahead, when they would be reading in the Herald that the council had gone ahead regardless.
Given the number of times in recent years when planning permissions have been given or other actions authorised by the council ignoring strong earlier protests by Eastbourne residents, such an expectation would be understandable together with a sense of being resigned to it.
However regrettable some past council decisions may have been, the issues involved have been less significant for the town as a whole than is the question of cycling on the seafront.
That’s not just because many fear that allowing it is likely to lead to injuries, but because many visitors choose to come to Eastbourne and to return to it precisely because they welcome walking in safety along what may well be the finest promenade in the country.
If things change in this respect our tourist trade could well suffer.
But what stood out most in last week’s Herald was the letter from Tony Ward of Pashley Road who did more than point out that the council were proclaiming support for change from a public consultation when less than 800 questionnaires had been returned. Whatever the expense, he felt that the matter was so important for Eastbourne that a postal referendum should be set up using either the Register of Electors or Council Tax Database.
We, the undersigned, agree with Tony Ward’s proposal. We take this view on the basis that only such a consultation would enable it to be said that this controversial issue had been decided in a way that was fair and truly democratic.
Michel Grove; with P Killick, Churchfield Square; Ann Ledger, Broomfield Street; E Thomas, Collington Close; Olivia Breeze, St Anne’s Road; R Galloway, Michel Grove; Jan Lynton, Mill Road; M Stimpson, London.
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