‘There has never been a reason to ‘save the bandstand’ as it was never going to be scrapped’, that is the statement from Bognor Regis regeneration sub committee’s chairman.
Councillor Phil Hitchins was responding to confusion this week prompted by Kate Eccles, the Conservative candidate for Marine Ward, who stated online the historic stucture was not moving.
Mr Hitchins said: “As you know when we were looking at the seafront strategy and the concession area we agreed that we needed to retain (save) the bandstand and bring it back into use, one of the suggestions was to remove it, restore it and possible move it to Waterloo Square, where it could be used in a less windy position.
He added: “There have been no plans drawn up for this and we certainly do not have any money, or are likely to have money, to move it.”
The relocation plans had prompted concerns, and even protests, as residents were not only passionate for the landmark to stay on the promenade but they feared the bandstand either wouldn’t survive the move or risked being taken down and never put up again.
Mr Hitchins revealed conversations are currently being had about alternatives.
“We still want to use the bandstand as it is part of Bognor Regis so under our review of the concession area we are looking at making it a feature of the area.
“We have money allocated for the concession area so this would go well with that idea. We will be looking at this later in the year.”
Regarding the comments made by the candidate, Mr Hitchins said it is ‘what we see at times of election’.
“That’s politics for you.”
Sub committee member Paul Wells said he was not surprised by the candidate’s statement, as ‘the decision has been extremely unpopular by her party’ but he added claims shouldn’t be made ‘when no formal decision has been made by the council to reverse the decision made back in 2016’.
Kate Eccles did not reply to a request for comment.