Lack of research

I WRITE in reply to the letter from the Worthing Society published on July 28.

The letter tells your readers of the massive financial benefits the Wurlitzer Organ brings to Worthing with “fans from all over the world coming to listen to this wonderful instrument and support the town’s economy”.

The council is accused of “crazy economics” and “economic madness” for deciding to exercise our contractual right to give 12 months termination notice to the Sussex Theatre Organ Trust, owner of the Wurlitzer Organ housed in the Assembly Hall.

One would have hoped that the Worthing Society would at least do some basic research before making these bold statements.

The Assembly Hall seats 940. Taking an average of the six Wurlitzer Concerts held between January and June this year, there were 128 paying customers at each, leaving over 800 empty seats. The average price paid for each ticket was £8.23, a gross total of just £1,055 per concert.

I am not aware of any income from the BBC, who we are told regularly record the concerts for broadcast.

The council is currently seeking expressions of interest from third parties who we hope will be able to run our theatres in a more efficient way.

If the public wish to preserve the status quo, they simply need to show their support by using the Theatres more often. They may also like to get behind one or more of the parties seeking to take control of the venues. Just writing letters and signing petitions is of little help to those employed in the theatres and doing their best to put on some great entertainment.

The next Wurlitzer concert is scheduled for Sunday, September 25, at 2.30pm.

Paul Yallop

Leader, Worthing Borough Council