Littlehampton Anchor Springs gets a makeover.

First of all apologies for the lack of posts on the Pier Road blog. Regular visitors to our bike shop in Pier Road will know we’re currently in the midst of moving our business from Pier Road into Anchor Springs, Duke Street Littlehampton.

We’re leasing the premises that was previously occupied by Kim’s the Barbers who has now retired.

The last few weeks and indeed months have been busy and difficult for us. Trying to find a suitable property to move our shop into hasn’t been easy. Quite honestly I am shocked by the attitude of some Littlehampton Landlords who refused to accept our business on the basis that we’d bring unfair competition to Littlehampton’s only cycle shop.

Thankfully our new landlords are more forward thinking and we’re delighted to have signed a relatively long lease on the shop in Anchor Springs which will secure our business – The Dutch Bike Shop & Coastal Cycles for hopefully many years to come.

Thanks to all of you who’ve popped in saying how much they enjoy reading this blog and the posts on the Pier Road twitter feed.

Initially my thoughts were that I wouldn’t continue with the blog as I’m leaving Pier Road however I’ve decided to continue with it but future posts will concentrate more on what’s happening in Littlehampton town centre area and looking at the many challenges facing independent retailers/business owners.

Anchor Springs Wall gets painted.

For many years I’ve been surprised at the appalling state of the UK Power Network’s perimeter wall in Anchor Springs. It’s depressing and no doubt adds to an overall feeling of  degeneration.

As the view from my new shop looks directly onto this wall I contacted UK Power Networks to ask them to repaint it. They refused. A polite refusal where they told me that their policy was only to ‘secure’ there properties, how they appeared weren’t really of concern to them.

I find this shocking and unacceptable more especially as UK Power Networks earn over £1.4billion annually in the UK.

So I asked them if I could paint their wall for them, which they agreed. However, I decided to have one last bash at them and I wrote to Basil Scarsella, CEO UK Power Networks advising him that I felt it unfair that I as the owner of a small cycle shop should have to paint the wall of his billion pound business.

I also ask Mr Scarsella how he could justify UK Power Networks policy of not worrying about the appearance of their buildings, provided their ‘safe and secure’.

To be fair to Basil Scarsella, he replied to my email within 15 minutes and one of his management team agreed that the wall would be repainted as soon as possible. He also apologized for the way the property looked.

Good on him and hopefully we can see some brightness from his end!

I’m delighted to say that the wall has now been repainted and I’m now going to work on the council (not sure which one yet who owns the ‘foliage’) to improve the planting here and create a more uplifting experience.

If they refuse, I’ll do it myself.

I’ve got to say, that I cannot understand why anyone from either Littlehampton Town Council or Arun District Council’s Regeneration team haven’t insisted UK Power Networks improved the presentation of their Littlehampton site.

Regular readers of this blog will recall how Arun District Council threatened Pier Road’s most eccentric resident Alan with enforcement action over his property. If you missed it – you can read it here.

UK Power Networks Littlehampton site gets repainted.

What’s happening with our old shop buildings?

I’ve no idea other than to say that the Property Development company who purchased it from our original landlords have now sold it onto a London based Investment Bank.

The property is in dire need of either a substantive makeover or being knocked to the ground and rebuilt. Either way, the condition of the property and the new conditions imposed by the landlords, were unacceptable to us and it was time to go.

No doubt at some point in the future the site will be redeveloped as housing – which in some ways I think would be good for Pier Road provided a commercial premises was retained on the ground floor.

In any event, something urgently needs to be done to it and I think we were right in saying we’d had enough of babysitting it for speculative property developers who showed no loyalty or consideration for our business needs. Not to mention the fact that our landlords wanted to near double our rent and make us responsible for maintaining their dilapidated buildings.

I’ve been unable to tell them personally to screw themselves, as they hide a commercial agent. But if by chance they do stumble upon this page…..

Our new shop opens for business on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 and we really look forward to seeing you there.

Remember there’s free 2 hour parking (courtesy of Littlehampton Traders Partnership) in either of the two public car parks which are adjacent to Anchor Springs. You can also park free of charge all day in what was the old Waitrose Car Park.

Hopefully something will happen with the old Waitrose building soon and the area can get a much-needed boost. It was a real shame that Waitrose left Littlehampton.

I hope to write more regularly on Pier Road now we’re almost there with the move, so please do sign up for regular posts, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll find the sign up box on the top right hand side of this page.

With best wishes,

Paul.


As always, thanks for reading, your comments always welcome.

 

Hit the Downs MTB Mountain Biking Event, 7th May 2017

Saddle up for a great day’s Mountain Biking and raise funds for St Barnabas House, Worthing.
St Barnabas House,  an independent charitable hospice located in Worthing, West Sussex, providing end of life care services, both at the hospice and in the local community, to adults with advanced progressive life-limiting conditions – are staging a terrific Hit the Downs MTB, mountain biking event.

The event, which will take place on 7th May 2017,  is open to all, aged 16 years and above.Registration is only £33 and riders can choose from either a 20 mile route, ideal for beginners and those just looking to enjoy a Sunday mountain bike ride in the very beautiful South Downs, or a 40 mile ride, which is guaranteed to deliver a thrilling day in the saddle.The event is open to riders of  all abilities with professional support available on the day to ensure you get from start to finish with the maximum enjoyment, minimum fuss.Refreshments will be provided en route and not only do you get to enjoy a great day out, but raise valuable funds for St Barnabas House.This really is a great way of getting out and enjoying the South Downs on a mountain bike whether as individually or as a group whilst raising money for a very worthwhile cause.

Find out more about this exciting event here where you can also register online.

About St Barnabas House

The hospice team consists of nurses, doctors, social workers, counsellors, our Chaplain, physiotherapists, complementary therapists, an Artist-in-Residence, our Hospice at Home team and our friendly volunteers.

The hospice staff will discuss your treatment and care with you, giving you the opportunity to express your wishes and address your concerns. We appreciate that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and that some things may be difficult to talk about. We aim to be sensitive and supportive in our conversations with you by respecting your individual beliefs, lifestyle and culture.

Services provided by the hospice care team

We offer palliative care services for patients with cancer and other life-limiting conditions. Our services include:

• 20 bed In-Patient Unit

• Day Hospice with 18 places

• Community Palliative Care Team

• Family Services Team

• Education Department

• Hospice at Home

To find out more about the care services provided by St Barnabas house, visit the our care section of their website.

Further information on the mountain biking event and details of how to register can be found  here.

Will Littlehampton voters be encouraged to vote in May 2017 West Sussex County Council elections?

On 4th May 2017, West Sussex County Council elections will take place.

Historic voting patterns in Littlehampton for this election show declining voter numbers, begging the question, how many of us will be bothered to turn out in May to vote?

Littlehampton has two seats on West Sussex County Council with the town being divided into two separate Wards – Littlehampton Town and Littlehampton East.

Currently, Liberal Democrat Councillors Buckland and Walsh have been elected to these two seats.

Here’s how both Wards turned out in the last two West Sussex County Council elections, which took place in 2009 and 2013.

Littlehampton Town Ward –

Currently held by Councillor Ian Buckland, Liberal Democrat.

Ignoring spoiled votes, in 2009 West Sussex County Council elections, 2639 Littlehampton Town voters turned out to vote. This dropped sharply in the 2013 WSCC Elections when 2151 Littlehampton voters turned out to vote.

A drop of 488 Voters – turnout down 3.7%

Littlehampton East Ward

Currently held by Councillor James Walsh, Liberal Democrat.

A similar picture of falling voting numbers for Littlehampton East Ward where in 2009, 3384 voters turned out compared to only 2829 in the 2013 West Sussex County Council election.

A drop of 555 Voters – turnout down 5.9%

In neighbouring East Preston and Ferring, the turnout dropped a whopping great 9.3%. In fact, throughout the West Sussex County Council area, voting numbers turning out to vote are down. Chichester North seeing the biggest fall, turnout down 12.1.%

The Conservative Party continue to control West Sussex County Council which have done since 1997. However in the 2013 election their majority was cut from 13 seats to 10 seats. UKIP gained 8 seats in addition to their existing 2 seats to take over as the official opposition party from the Liberal Democrats who overall lost 11 seats.

We’ve yet to know who will be putting themselves forward for election in the West Sussex County Council elections, which will take place on 4th May 2017. However, what’s clear is we need fresh faces who can inspire and motivate, challenge and will vote in the interests of the residents they’ve been elected to serve, and not the ideals of whatever party they represent.

I’ve witnessed councillors giving impassioned speeches at various council meetings against council proposals/planning applications and then to vote for the very proposals they’ve objected to as they’ve been instructed by their political party which way to vote.

What benefit is this sort of representation to the local communities who turn out against the odds to vote for them?

Interested in becoming a County Councillor

West Sussex County Council are holding a County Council candidates event for anyone considering becoming a WSCC Councillor on Monday 27th February, 2017 at West Sussex County Council offices – 6pm to 9pm at the address below:

West Sussex County Council
County Hall
West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RQ


As always, thanks for reading, your comments always welcome. The comments section should now be open to taking your comments having previously been out of service. Again apologies to those who tried to post comments and were unable.

 

Raleigh Bomber for sale.

The Raleigh Bomber has now been sold and now in the hands of a new owner.

I’ve somewhat reluctantly decided to put my Raleigh Bomber up for sale. This is an authentic Bomber, which hasn’t been fiddled with or added to and even comes with the original tyres, milometer, saddle and handlebars and lights.

Everything works.

It’s one of a number of vintage, collectable bicycles that I’ve collected over the years and this Raleigh Bomber really is in excellent condition.

It will be on display in my shop window, at the Dutch Bike Shop, Littlehampton. We’re located in Pier Road, beside the Army Cadet building and the Gravy Boat.

As this is my own personal bicycle, this will be sold as seen and is not sold with any shop warranties/guarantees. However, I can assure any potential or interested buyer, that it really is in exceptional condition.

I’m not selling this wonderful bicycle as a clearance bargain, or am otherwise desperate to sell it. So, please do bear this mind if you’re interested in buying it. I can confidently say that this is most definitely one of the finest authentic examples of this iconic bicycle around. It really hasn’t been ridden and has only ever had two owners – the original owner and myself.

£350 – or very nearest offer.

I’ve previously written about this lovely bike on my Littlehampton blog here at Pier Road and you can read the article below.

Raleigh Bomber restoration story

Raleigh BomberWe’ve just finished restoring an authentic Raleigh Bomber bicycle in our Coastal Cycles Workshop. The Bomber was one of Raleigh’s 1980’s models standing alongside the Raleigh Chopper, Grifter and Chipper.

Described by Raleigh as follows:

Possibly the meanest machine on the street, custom built for cruising, the bike’s curved frame and giant 26″ x 2.5″ wheels are nothing short of impressive. With either the single speed or three speed version, those mammoth wheels really help you motor. Tough as they come, the Bomber’s foam sprung saddle and wide rise bars with foam rubber grips still offer complete comfort…

Raleigh BomberOur Restored Bomber even features the original lights, which were purchased by the bike’s one owner as an additional accessory on the day the bike was first bought. We believe this to be in 1983 – so our Bomber is 30 year’s old.

Raleigh BomberOur Raleigh Bomber on Littlehampton’s East Beach. The Bomber was designed by Raliegh as a Cruiser and it’s certainly offers a really comfortable ride. With the original 3 speed Sturmey Archer gears, it’s quite a capable machine.

Raleigh BomberThe original Speedometer, which worked by fitting a large wheel similar to a dynamo wheel against the front tyre wall.

Raleigh BomberAbove you can see the wheel which provides the speedometer readings. Notice the reflectors built into the side of the handlebar grips. A cool and innovative feature of the day.

Raleigh BomberRaleigh BomberOur Bomber even has it’s original tyres and side stand.

Raleigh Bomber Coastal Cycles

Raleigh BomberRaleigh Bomber

If you’re interested in buying this, please either email me at paulpower@live.co.uk or pop in and see it and me and Dutch Bike Shop/Coastal Cycles, 46A, Pier Road, Littlehampton.

If you’re travelling a distance to see it, please telephone the shop on 01903 730089 to make sure I still have it.

Price: £350 ovno


As always, thanks for reading and please note we have now had the comments section fixed. Apologies again to all those who emailed me who advised they were unable to post comments to previous articles.

Roffey Homes Worthing’s Aquarena redevelopment approved by Councillors.

Luxury homes developer, Roffey have had their plans to build a new 15 story tower on Worthing’s seafront, approved by Councillors.

The controversial development, which had previously been refused in 2015 when 21 floors had been  proposed, has now been reduced to 15 floors.

Only one of the 7 Councillors  voted against the revised plans. Liberal Democrat Councillor, Hazel Thorpe objected to the plans supporting objectors views that the development was out of character for Worthing seafront and that it did nothing to solve the town’s housing crisis.

Objectors to the plan were left disappointed by the council’s decision to approve the plans, cited the height of the building as being one of the main reasons for their objection and that the overall development was not in keeping with the town’s character.

2,000 objectors signed the petition.

However, the remaining 5 Tory Councillors voted in favour of the plans and now work is expected to begin shortly on the development with completion aimed for by 2020.

The new development, which will cost an estimated £45m will include 141 homes, including a proportion of ‘affordable homes’, a new cafe and a new public space.

Speaking on BBC radio Sussex this morning , Ben Cheal, managing director of Roffey Homes told Neil Pringle how emotionally exhausted he was following the council meeting and he assured Worthing residents that the new development would bring about some real economic benefits for Worthing.

Personally, I like Roffey Homes proposed new development and I look forward to seeing it completed. I think there’s a real danger in seaside towns falling into a mentality that any change or improvement is negative. South East Towns such as Worthing, which is not dissimilar to Littlehampton, need to do more to improve the facade of many of the older buildings.

The above redevelopment by Roffey Homes on Worthing Seafront looks fantastic, in my view and really did regenerate, what was a very run-down area and create an instant feel-good factor for anyone arriving in the town.

Roffey homes is a family business developing luxury homes along the South East Coast from Brighton to Bognor Regis since 1960.

I wish them will their new development.


As always, thanks for reading – comments section has now hopefully been fixed following recent problems – so comments welcomed. Apologies who those who posted comments, which didn’t feature. This was a technical problem and thanks to those who emailed me to make me aware of same.

Paul