Bognor is no poor relation, declares angry councillor

CRITICISM of Bognor Regis’ place as a poor relation has been made by a councillor.

Cllr Paul Wells said Arun District Council was prepared to spend £1m on improving Littlehampton’s East Bank of the River Arun.

But the council had always been reluctant to open its coffers to back Bognor.

“I find it hard to swallow as a resident of Bognor that the council can find that amount of money to spend on a one-off project in Littlehampton.

“But when it comes to Bognor the only money which is available has to be from S106 funds (from developers in return for planning permission) or from grants,” he told the civic society’s meeting last Friday.

“Now we have to wait for St Modwen to come along and provide a multiplex on the Regis Centre site. Yet the political will exists at the district council to find £1m from taxpayers’ money, much of it from the Bognor area, to spend in Littlehampton.”

He said when Butlin’s paid more than £2m to Arun for a new lease to stay in Bognor the council refused to allow even some of the money to be earmarked for the town and said it had to be used for the district’s benefit.

Nigel Lynn, Arun’s chief executive, said the council was willing to finance schemes to benefit Bognor.

“We want to spend money in the town and put all the money from those projects back into the Regis Centre site,” he said.

The improvement scheme in Littlehampton will be centred on Pier Road as part of a project to create better flood defences.