Councillor says he will ‘battle for Bognor

‘I will battle for Bognor Regis’, the new chairman of the town’s regeneration sub-committee has told the town’s residents.

Cllr Trevor Bence used his first public statement since he was elected to the role at Arun District Council last month to state he believed in the town and would work to ensure improvements took place.

“I am chairman because I passionately believe we can save Bognor from what, on the face of it, looks like oblivion and we can drag it into the next ten years fighting.

“We have one asset in my estimation and that is the seafront and we have to make the most of it.

“I can totally say from the bottom of my heart that I support Bognor and I want Bognor to do better.”

He said he wanted to give the sub-committee a higher-profile role in the ongoing work to boost Bognor’s economy and attractions.

“The sub-committee has never bared its teeth in the five years I have been a member,” he said.

Mr Bence said money – such as the £500,000 from Sainsbury’s – was available for projects to improve the town centre. He urged anyone with ideas to use the application form on the district council’s website to seek the funding.

“If you have the will, there are people in place like me who want to listen to you and drag Bognor forward. Bring me the information (about your projects), and I will see what I can do.

“I can’t always promise the answer will be yes. The money is a finite resource. It is not a bottomless pit of money. It has to be spent wisely but how we spend it is already allocated.”

The council agreed last year to spend certain percentages of the Sainsbury’s cash on specific projects, such as a major initiative, events and street improvements. The first £250,000 was due when the store began to be built last month.

Cllr Bence, a Conservative, is one of the district members who represent the Pevensey ward in Bognor. The regeneration sub-committee has been relaunched by Arun after a year in which it was joined with its counterpart for Littlehampton in an unsuccessful merger.