Call to protect Bognor’s Picturedrome

A SPECIAL meeting to discuss a petition seeking to protect the Picturedrome has been called.

Members of Arun District Council’s Bognor Regis regeneration subcommittee agreed on Tuesday (October 16) to call an extra meeting of the group on November 7.

The meeting is set to be the first of a series to discuss the 10,868-strong petition submitted to the council by the Bognor Regis Civic Society.

Subcommittee member Cllr Roger Nash said: “It is clear from the number of people who have signed this petition just how important it is it is to the area, and how strong the strength of feeling is.

“The Picturedrome is an extremely popular facility and it is used not just by the people in Bognor Regis but also those from further afield.

“Therefore, I would advise this committee and the council that we should not have a knee-jerk reaction to this petition.”

The petition asks the district council to help safeguard the future of the Canada Grove cinema by refusing permission for another on any land they own or control in Bognor.

This protection would last for the period the Picturedrome remains in business as a cinema.

Subcommittee member Norman Dingemans said: “I think we are going to need time to explore the issues raised by the petition and the other regeneration issues connected to it.

“I think when the town council bought the Picturedrome, they did so to save the building not the cinema business.”

Cllr Mrs Brown added: “Clearly there is not a yes or no response. Clearly there has got to be discussion.”

After much debate subcommittee members decided the best way forward would be to hold dedicated meetings where they could explore the petition’s requests in-depth.

Councillors will use the initial meeting, on November 7, at 6pm, in the town hall to explore what questions they would like to ask. Further meetings will then be set up.