HERE is what Caroline Ansell has had to say over the decision to close the Bandstand for the whole of 2022:

“I am very unhappy the borough council’s inaction to date means another silent summer at the Bandstand and with only the minimum to be spent when the full amount to bring it back to its former glory was supposed to be already earmarked.

The bandstand’s plight is a sorry story. I raised its condition as a cause for concern when I was a councillor. I was told then that all necessary works were planned and in hand. 

It is another blow to tourism on which so many local jobs and services rely and the rationale behind it does not seem to hold water.

I have spoken with the Environment Agency to gauge whether there needs to be a delay in the bandstand work pending their sea defence project design.

The reply was unequivocal.  The EA’s final business case for the Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management scheme will not be submitted until 2025. This, I was told, is the earliest possible date that any construction activities can start across the entire project. It is the EA’s opinion that it would be unlikely to see any immediate flood defence works at the Eastbourne Bandstand in any initial phase of the project.

In light of this information from the EA, I have written to the council to ask for the technical reports or briefings which have led them to believe the wider work at the bandstand should be halted.  If it is more the case that the council simply cannot afford the work to bring the bandstand up to scratch, it should be upfront and open about it.

I have also spoken with the heritage and tourism minister Nigel Huddleston, who visited Eastbourne last summer, for signposting to potential funding in an attempt to see some progress and because no matter what the local politics are, I will continue to support my home town at every turn.”