I attended the council regeneration meeting on Wednesday last and the Civic Society meeting on Friday.
It is refreshing to note that there is now movement on some key issues.
Parking: Even after numerous expensive consultations and much mass debating, the parking issue rumbles on. This really should have reached a conclusion by now. I am pleased to hear that the free parking is being extended. The rules for on-street parking generally, however, are disjointed, particularly in Argyle Road and West Street. It is confusing to the point of being dangerous as drivers try to read and understand the signs while on the move. As to installing any electronic parking system, surely it would be appropriate to hold back until visitor numbers are seen to be on the increase?
It is disappointing to me that some councillors seem unable to comprehend the fact that visitors to the Regis Centre, particularly ladies, do not wish to routemarch in high heels from car park to theatre! I am sure many gents would not be impressed either. Parking close to local facilities must remain and not be built on.
Traffic flow: If the High Street and the seafront were made into a one-way system this would surely will attract faster driving around the circuit which will be formed. I have visions of numerous boy racers driving around as if they were at Le Mans! This happens a lot around North Bersted. I have recently also witnessed several drivers hurling liquid missiles at passers-by, too. One would surely not wish this upon the residents of Bognor Regis town centre?
Alexandra Theatre/Regis Centre
Although the facilities at the Regis Centre should remain, the building itself really is unattractive. Surely there is one very simple and indeed obvious answer. Why not commission local college students to paint murals on the brickwork as has been done in Chichester? We could have Victorian ladies and gentlemen,seaside scenes, children with buckets and spades, pictures of musicans, clowns, Jack climbing a beanstalk on the gable end and so much more. On show nights, why not co-opt some of the staff from the, already-licensed, Brewers Fayre to run the bar?
A small play area and boating pool close to the Regis Centre could surely be set up for a relatively small outlay.
Much more use should be made of Place St Maur. The ‘pop-up’ shows which appeared over the Rox weeend, morris dancers and the like would work well.
So much could be achieved at minimal cost to the local residents.
The pier: I am delighted that Paul Wells, Sandra Daniells and John Ayres are working together with others to come up with a scheme to regenerate the pier, preserving some of its original ornate features. I hope to be a part of this. Thank you to all concerned and to the Civic Society for hosting such a positive meeting on Friday evening.
I would like, also, to congratulate and thank the dedicated organisers of the events in Hotham Park. What a magical event the Wizard of Oz day was!
Van Gogh Place, Bognor