Let’s give credit where credit’s due

It’s easy to be critical as Mark Strachan demonstrated last week.

He chose to unload his distaste for Arun District Council and unwittingly lambasted the hardworking and inventive couple who have rushed to open the new café, Fenwicks, at the heart of Hotham Park.

Dawn and Robert Bunker secured the concession in open tender and were then given a matter of weeks to build, fit out and stock a working, health-and-safety burdened facility in the centre of the park.

Not many would have succeeded the way they have done in time for the Easter weekend.

This couple have an excellent track record and a personable manner which brought them many loyal followers when operating the concession last year in Mewsbrook Park, Littlehampton.

With proper direction and opportunity they would be a worthwhile investment for the community, when Arun eventually decide what the new and comprehensive café/restaurant is to be in a couple of years.

Mr Strachan’s venom, I would suggest, is borne out of frustration, for those of us who have known the park, like myself, for decades.

However, we have an opportunity to renew and reinvigorate a much-loved asset of the town, when so much else seems to be deteriorating.

These are difficult times of austerity, so if we have no funds for the frills, then it is beholden of us to do the basics even better.

This park has potential if properly managed. It needs a visible warden, with warden’s accommodation; it needs to be closed to the public at night, with an electronic access for residents; and it needs to be cleaned, swept, litter picked and flower planted – this is not rocket science.

Mr Strachan undoubtedly means well, but the hardworking and competent operators of Fenwicks Café should be welcomed for the quality service they offer in somewhat restricted circumstances.

How about we all get our act together!

Andrew Finnamore

Hotham Park user since 1977 and now trustee of Littlehampton’s Look & Sea