COLUMNIST: Mike Mendoza, chairman of Adur District Council

THE soon-to-be-named bridge over the River Adur has been quite controversial.

I have heard and read that the result was pre-decided, all suggestions were ignored.

Let me tell all those doubters that I was present at most stages of the ‘competition’, nothing was fiddled.

The process was run and overseen by West Sussex County Council, which owns the bridge, not Adur.

A competition was held, 130 names were put forward and it was decided by county to cut that number down to a manageable five.

There was a meeting of a committee, of which I am a member, and we did just that, reduced the number to five.

Each name was discussed and then put to a vote and when the five were decided upon, a further public vote took place over a three-week period and the winner was The Adur Ferry Bridge. We may not all like the name but it was a democratic decision.

Several people were nominated as names for the bridge. Council leader Neil Parkin and myself have been discussing the situation, as we have both been inundated with protests at the name chosen.

We as a council can do nothing about this because, as I said earlier, the bridge is the property of West Sussex County Council. However, as the local authority for the land either side of the bridge, Adur Council can do something to help.

Herald readers will be the first to read about this, as we are still awaiting a decision from Adur Council members to the following proposal.

Coronation Green has a large wall that is grey and ugly. Some time ago, the wall was painted with colourful wavy lines, but they seem to have vanished!

We propose to build a Wall of Fame to be set into the existing wall. The plaques will be on the lines of the famous Walk of Fame that is so popular at Brighton Marina.

We will hold a competition, with the help and scrutiny of the Herald, for nominations of names to be put on the wall.

We suggest putting up initially 20 plaques celebrating people who have been associated with Adur in any way for this year and make this an annual event with 10 more plaques going up annually.

Let’s face it, the bridge will always be called the ‘footbridge’! The wall will always be there and it will always be the Wall of Fame.

I haven’t said much about River Fest yet. This is an event that will be taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. It will be a three-day event and will be the first of its type in Adur.

Hopefully, it will be an annual event. The idea, put forward by James Parker at Suters Yard, is to celebrate the river flowing through Shoreham and the businesses surrounding it.

A lot of people have been working so hard to make sure this will be the success we hope it will be.

The area of the festival is from The Duke of Wellington pub, along the High Street, all up East Street, Ropetackle and along the Shoreham Beach side as well.

There will be entertainment just about everywhere, street entertainers, bands, water borne activities, etc.

I am trying to get a floating stage so we can have some music being played whilst floating along the river, ala the jubilee celebrations along the Thames.

This is also all in the name of charity and this year, my charity, the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice will be the beneficiary of all the profits from the weekend.

Chestnut Tree has a shortfall of £7,000 per day to be plugged and hopefully the people of Adur district will help this essential hospice survive a little longer.

I would like to emphasise that I, as chairman of Adur, am available to attend your event, opening, school play, fete, etc. If you go to the Adur Council website, you will see a booking form on the Chairman of Adur page. I look forward to seeing you, I am here for you.