Chichester left ‘disappointed’ as no plans made for Peake’s return

Member of the International Space Station (ISS) crew Britain's Tim Peake waves after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Saturday, June 18, 2016. A three-person crew from the International Space Station has landed safely in the sun-drenched steppes of Kazakhstan. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP) KAZAKHSTAN_Peake_114980.JPG
Member of the International Space Station (ISS) crew Britain's Tim Peake waves after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Saturday, June 18, 2016. A three-person crew from the International Space Station has landed safely in the sun-drenched steppes of Kazakhstan. (Shamil Zhumatov/Pool Photo via AP) KAZAKHSTAN_Peake_114980.JPG
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Hopes for astronaut Tim Peake to return to his home city soon are slowly diminishing after news that he will be making a visit to The University of Portsmouth before returning to Chichester.

It was revealed on Monday, September 4, that Westbourne-born Tim is set to visit the Hampshire university in November to speak to the next generation of students about his adventures in space.

However, the news was not met so positively in Chichester, with plans for the ‘Tim Peake parade’ stagnating after no dates have been set for the astronaut’s grand return.

City council clerk, Rodney Duggua said: “People are now asking me why it is possible for Tim to be at an event some 17 miles distant in Portsmouth and at York a few days later but not in Chichester – all I can say is that is how the Space Agency have arranged things, it is something the city council has no influence upon.

“Tim’s attendance at these long standing conferences has been listed as being subject to operational commitments of which he has a great many following his safe return.”

He added: “Once we hit mid November there are issues involving the use of the precinct that rule out a freedom parade taking place anyway, so we have to accept neither the freedom ceremony nor freedom parade will be happening this year, which is a shame.

The mayor of Chichester, councillor Budge, is expected to express hope in a meeting tonight to be in contact with the Space Agency over the next few weeks to settle dates for the freedom ceremony.