IDEAS about how to open up Bognor Regis beach to everyone will be welcome at an event next week.
An open surgery is being staged by town councillors Steve Goodheart and Pat Dillon to enable residents who live around the town centre to have their say.
It will take place from 3pm-5pm at the Regis School of Music in Sudley Road. Free parking is available at the site.
Steve said an eastern European business owner had spoken to him after his initial surgery last month to question why so little was done to make use of the town’s seafront.
“She was saying how they really celebrate summer on the seafront in Poland and make use of the area.
“Our seafront here is just a strip of Tarmac and a ton of shingle with no means for some people to get on to the beach.
“I would like to see that situation changed. It would be good to clear away the two ramps that are buried under the shingle so that people can get on to the beach and get the sandy beach back as well.
“We used to be famous for our beach. People used to come here for it but now they are just faced with shingle.
“The shingle was placed there by Arun District Council for economic reasons. It is cheaper to do that than to patch up the sea wall from any erosion.
“But it doesn’t do much for the economics of the town’s tourism economy when people come down here and see that.”
He said he would also be keen to hear people’s ideas about the proposed winter gardens scheme for the Regis Centre site and new theatre. “Who will pay for the theatre and what will parking be like?” he said.
The need for more attractions and even the possibility of moving the bowls greens from Waterloo Square and opening up the site as a park could be discussed as well.
Pat said: “We need to turn around the negativity in the town into positivity. If we work together, we can achieve an awful lot. As individuals, we can’t necessarily do a lot.
“We do need to get more people involved with the town. The more that happens, the more pride they will take in it as far as I am concerned.
“That’s particularly true of young people because it’s more their future that is involved than ours.”
It is intended to hold the surgeries on the last Friday monthly at the town centre venue run by Sasha Levtov.
Steve said: “This is part of Sasha’s thanks to the town for the support he and his family have always had here.
“It’s great for us to have a town centre venue to us and we’re grateful to him.
“This building is known for its music and it would be good to have it known for other community activities as well.”