Colonnade plan will never work

From: Jackie Bialeska, Cantelupe Road, Bexhill

The council are rushing desperately to finish a posh “destination restaurant” to be run by the council themselves. It seems to me to a new attempt to save face.

This idea has been simmering away for years. Well I remember the days when the leader, Councillor Carl Maynard would say, “there are several businessmen interested in this”, but nobody turned up.

Then our intrepid leader uttered the famous words, “If we build it, they’ll come”.

Well they didn’t come. Instead a very popular cafe sprung up with excellent little concerts at weekends; it was packed. It was just what the public wanted; the children in the lovely fountain, the dog walkers, the kind of people who use the area.

This planned restaurant is the latest corporate folly. It follows the De La Warr Heights, the block of shabby flats and closed shops with its filthy outdoor lift littered with discarded chip papers and mummified mini trees at the sea end of Sackville Road. This was hailed as the new “Gateway to Bexhill”, improving the economy and bringing young, thrusting professionals to the town.

What? Other mistakes followed. The worst of which was the “shelters”; £74,000 was spent on each of them.

The designers promised each shelter would have seating for 25, a pink tree and public entertainment, none of which materialised. The only result was public money down the drain.

This colonnade project, paid for with your money, will probably look quite good at first. Some people with love it. However, it is a business venture destined to fail. Even Jamie Oliver couldn’t keep it going. If no businessman was willing to take it on then that was surely a red light.

There are too many problems with this venture. Access for a start, or rather lack of, plus the gargantuan Potemkin-style steps that Eisenstein would have been proud of. Imagine a somewhat inebriated customer trying to negotiate them on a dark and rainy night, and as a drinks licence has been applied for, drunken revellers rolling around on the promenade at midnight.

On top of this, all the heavy lorries needed to deliver goods in a place where tiny children are playing. And on top of it all, extreme weather.

At the risk of sounding like the Oracle of Delphi, I would warn our leader, “It will never work, Mr Maynard. It will never work.”