Chance to hear views of top official on Bognor

Top council officer Nigel Lynn will be taking part in his first Bognor Regis public meeting week.

Mr Lynn will make his debut at the civic society’s regular meeting on Friday, February 10.

He will appear just before he reaches his first hundred days in his job as Arun District Council’s chief executive.

His presence as the society’s guest speaker at 7.30pm in the Regis Centre will enable him to speak of his enthusiasm for Bognor.

“The future for Bognor is really bright,” he said. “Looking at the bigger picture and the vision for the entire regeneration, it is a really exciting prospect for the town.

“A lot of towns would be really envious about the quality of the commercial companies who want to come to Bognor.

“We really need to boost the town’s day and night-time economy that will bring in more visitors and encourage them to spend more. I’m excited about the prospect of that.

“Before I started in this job, I spent a lot of time talking to my contacts in the retail and leisure sector and Bognor has got such a good profile with those organisations and companies.

“They want to come here and that’s why it’s so important we need to talk up the strengths of Bognor and enable more and more of them to base themselves in the town.”

He said the news in last week’s Observer that Butlin’s had taken nearly £1m in bookings for its third hotel in Bognor showed the popularity of the town.

“People don’t just look up against Butlin’s when they decide to go on holiday there. They find out about the surrounding area and they obviously like what they see in Bognor’s case,” he said.

Butlin’s is also involved in another of the regeneration projects with a planned watersports centre on the Gloucester Road seafront in a joint venture with the council and the University of Chichester.

“I’ve had a number of meetings with Butlin’s about the centre. I believe it will be a great asset.

“We have got to work with them about how we can develop that and how it is sustainable and right for Bognor,” said Mr Lynn.

He has begun to get to know the town with a series of walks with ward councillors around their patches.

He has also been busy meeting the organisations which add so much to the variety of life around the town.

Their partnership working has delighted him as well as the willingness of other councils and organisations to work on projects.

Mr Lynn became Arun’s chief executive on November 7 after the retirement of the long-serving Ian Sumnall who addressed the civic society on occasions.