WHEN I started as a columnist well over a decade ago, I learned quickly that all feedback, negative or positive, is good – and remembering one of my late mum’s favourite sayings about ‘no one ever kicks a dead dog’ I was buoyed to see I’d made it to the ‘top of the bill’ in the last week’s letters page, with a Mr Elms of Rackham Road taking issue with my opinions.
All good stuff, and seeing Mr Elms’s contributions to the letters page over the years it’s clear he and I are cut from the same cloth in that we both have our firm opinions.
In response to his points, first, the Aquarena and the possibility that the town missed a trick back then by not also having a conference facility along with the pool complex. Mr Elms said Worthing has never had sufficient bed space to sustain a conference facility.
I would like to draw attention to the Worthing Town Guide of 1972, which contained adverts from almost 40 local hotels and nearly 70 bed and breakfast establishments.
That represented adequate bed spaces and almost certainly, had Worthing had a state-of-the-art conference facility, it would have spawned new hotels and B&Bs.
Mr Elms then asked if there was proven need for a multiplex cinema.
The lack of a multiplex cinema in the town has, in my eyes, cost the local economy millions of pounds.
Take the new James Bond film as a classic example – how many people living in Worthing will go and see the film outside the borough? And will they eat and drink at a pub or restaurant before or after the film? Never mind the cinema tickets, how much money will be lost to the local economy?
The need for affordable low cost starter housing also got an airing last week, and guess what, I’m with you on this one Stuart, but the person you need to blame, Mrs Thatcher, who sold off council houses and didn’t build new ones, is sadly long gone. As for the proposed Aquarena development, I still think Worthing has missed a trick with the Roffey plans, but it’s all about opinions.
Finally, a response to Mr Elms’s views on the changing face of Worthing FC will, due to available space, have to wait for another day, although if he wishes to discuss it, the kettle is always on at 92-94 Broadwater Street West. But above all, Mr Elms, thank you, sincerely, for not only reading my column but taking the time and trouble to respond to it.
As I said, it’s all about opinions.
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