I WRITE in reply to the letter from Anne Ferras which appeared on page 26 of last week’s Herald.
I should like to assure readers that I regularly compare Worthing with other seaside towns. In the case of Eastbourne there are many similarities. However, one of the major differences is the level of central Government funding. Figures released last year showed Eastbourne council receiving £319 per resident as opposed to £204 for Worthing.
That equates to around £10m extra per year. Just imagine what could be done with that.
Residents may be assured that I have written to and spoken with Government Ministers many times to point out this apparent inequality. I regret that these actions have failed to bring any improvement to date.
Even in these austere times, the council is doing all it can to improve the seafront area in order to encourage residents and visitors.
Splashpoint has been regenerated; there are sand volleyball courts in Beach House grounds together with much-needed private sector investment in mini golf. The council has recently commissioned another new children’s play area behind the excellent Coast Café.
A massive investment is being made in the new pool and leisure facilities designed by award-winning architects.
Mrs Ferras complains that there is nowhere to enjoy a glass of wine whilst watching the sun go down. There are many places where one can do this, has she not tried the aforementioned Coast Café or the Dome function rooms?
There are tables and chairs outside the Denton Lounge where you can enjoy a jug of Pimm’s and lemonade.
I also wonder if Mrs Ferras visited any of the recent events organised as part of the Worthing Lions Festival. If she did, she would have witnessed many thousands of people enjoying our seafront with ice creams in plentiful supply. Whilst we may not have the funding enjoyed by Eastbourne, most Worthing residents make up for it by showing tremendous community spirit in organising and attending a large number of events throughout the summer season.
After my visits to other towns I always return feeling grateful to live in such a great place.
The council will continue its efforts to make it even better whilst maintaining a lower level of council tax than that paid in Eastbourne.
Councillor Paul Yallop
Leader, Worthing Borough Council