A PERCEPTION that the De La Warr Pavilion has become elitist and out of touch with the local community is due to be tackled head-on next month.
Reverend Peter Timms, chairman of Churches Together in Bexhill, (CTIB), has arranged a public meeting at which people will be able to air their views and ask questions face-to-face with the venue’s acting director, Stewart Drew.
It will be held at the Parkhurst Hall in Parkhurst Road, Bexhill, on Tuesday, December 4, at 6.30pm.
Rev Timms said: “I’m pleased that after almost two years of urging, this important meeting is now set to take place.
“It will give ordinary Bexhill and Rother residents the opportunity to have their questions addressed, and my hope is that it could herald a new and more positive relationship between local people and the national icon they believe belongs to them.”
Rev Timms praised Mr Drew for accepting the opportunity to speak about the Pavilion’s role and to answer local critics, many of whom have accused it of losing touch with the public and failing to host the type of events local people would wish to see.
Although an open meeting, space is limited and Rev Timms said he would welcome letters reserving seats or posing written questions, c/o The Methodist Church, Parkhurst Road, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 3JA and marked: “Confidential”.
Rev Timms will chair next month’s meeting and added: “It is my hope that this kind of gathering, supported as it is by the Bexhill Alliance and many other local groups, could become a regular feature of people talking to the icon in their town.”
The Pavilion, a Grade One listed Modernist building opened in 1935, receives joint funding of around £1 million a year from Arts Council England and Rother District Council.
Acting DLWP director Stewart Drew said the long-term illness and subsequent death of former director Alan Haydon last year, coupled with a busy summer, explained the delay in arranging next month’s meeting.
But having found much in common with the organisers, Mr Drew said : “ I look forward to this opportunity for further discussion.”