It’s been a disappointing Easter for some families hoping to enjoy Eastbourne’s seaside attractions as they’ve found many to be closed and the promenade looking shabby with missing and broken lighting, say Eastbourne Tories.

Despite the weekend’s glorious weather, and thousands of families on the seafront, so many of the town’s tourist areas are shut, casting the wrong impression on visitors, says an Eastbourne councillor who continues to urge the council to get its act together, and is working urgently with council officers and the town’s MP on a new funding possibility to “restore the seafront to its former glory”.

The bandstand and Motcombe Pool’s closures have been well publicised, but residents and visitors alike are deprived of so much else as the peak tourist season begins, the latest casualty being the popular Dotto train.

“This is such a shame for local children as well as all the visitors, and does little to entice them back to our town which relies so heavily on tourists”, says Robert Smart who’s Leader of the Conservative group on Eastbourne Borough Council. He was one of those left to explain to disappointed children why they could not enjoy a ride on the Dotto train this Easter. “My grandsons were not impressed that their favourite train wasn’t running along the prom”, said Robert. “This has been another Easter ‘no show’, apparently because of maintenance. The Council and its operator have had all lockdown and this winter to sort this out and it should have been ready for the bank holiday. Other towns have their seafront trains up-and-running, so why not Eastbourne?”

Cllr Smart is adding to voices calling on the Lib-Dem run council to get its act together and have the train running again and all the attractions open as soon as possible. “It’s just not good enough”, he says. “This is a tourist town and we need to welcome visitors not send them the message that things are closed due to the council’s neglect and mismanagement. The rundown appearance of the town is further enhanced by the un-refurbished exterior of the Winter Garden.

“Looking at the queues at all the seafront concessions this Easter, a golden opportunity to turn things around has quite obviously been missed, and it’s down to complete mismanagement by this inept council administration” concludes Cllr Smart. “This is doing Eastbourne’s reputation no good at all.”

It won’t reduce disappointment for this year’s visitors but, as he promised at the recent Save Eastbourne Bandstand public meeting, Councillor Robert Smart is working urgently with the town’s administration and its MP, Caroline Ansell, to evaluate the potential for a newly announced Culture Fund to rejuvenate Eastbourne’s seafront, including council-owned assets.