Farewell to the VIC

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I WAS considerably intrigued by the striking contrasts of your front page announcement of September 1, and the subsequent page three item of September 8, with regard to the closure of our Visitor Information Centre.

It is, of course, on the one hand a very welcome compromise, but on the other a thoroughly disappointing transition from a fully manned Visitor Information Centre to that of a leaflet distribution point within the Observer offices.

I feel that Arun District Council have not given these dramatic and potentially damaging changes sufficient in-depth appraisal, and are exposing our vital local tourism industry and the wider economy to a bleak and uninformed future.

Although we fully understand that cuts have to be made; surely, cuts directed at the very heart of the local economy are both ill-advised and excessive.

Let us not forget that those dedicated and knowledgeable stalwarts of the centre dispensed not only local information, but also much valued information for the whole country.

All of this in a friendly face-to-face environment.

The loss to Bognor Regis is therefore quite significant.

It is encouraging, however, to see that the Bognor Regis Chamber of Commerce (under the admirable leadership of Nick Stuart-Nicolson) were pro-active in formally recognising the outstanding contribution made by the outgoing staff of the centre and properly acknowledging the huge significance of this closure.

In this respect, I feel that our Chamber of Commerce has a much richer understanding of the value of tourism than that displayed by Arun District Council.

Mr DG Bishop,

Old Place, Aldwick