Windmill Cinema Re-opens tonight, Friday, 21st February.

Littlehampton’s much loved cinema, The Windmill re-opens tonight at 7.30pm with a showing of 12 Year’s A Slave. The film, which is an adaptation of the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup.

Twelve years a slave, a memoirSolomon Northup was a New York State-born ‘free negro’ who was kidnapped in Washington D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery.

Windmill Cinema Littlehampton

A hard hitting, BAFTA award winning movie to celebrate a victory for the Save the Windmill campaign led by  Pat King.

Speaking to Danny Pike this morning on BBC Southern Counties Radio, a clearly delighted and excited Pat King said she was proud of their achievements and very excited with the prospect of tonight’s opening. But the message is clear, she said:  ‘We have our cinema, now get out and use it – or loose it.’

She explained that they’d over a hundred volunteers behind us now helping ‘bring our much loved and very much missed cinema back to life’. And with their new arrangements they’d be able to stream live footage from various events and performances. Something that’s proving increasingly popular with cinema audiences across the country.

While the film starts at 7.30pm, there is a pre-film party – all are welcome to attend – to celebrate this great new beginning from 4pm – 6pm

The Windmill Cinema, which is conveniently located just off Littlehampton’s South Terrace – just before the junction with Pier Road and Arun Parade.

Pay and Display Car Parking is available in the car park in front of the cinema. Alternatively, free car parking can be found in nearby residential streets.

This evening’s Schedule:

4 -6pm – Re-launch Party – all are welcome.

7.30pm – Screening of 12 Year’s a Slave.

A blockbuster programme of movies follows tonight’s performance, details below.

Littlehampton winmill cinema programme[adsenseyu1]

Arun District Council’s Chief Executive reports the Car Park wasn’t dangerous

Arun District Council Car ParkThe above Arun District Car Park surface isn’t Dangerous – reports Arun District Council’s Chief Executive, Nigel Lynn. Neither does Arun District Council undertake Risk Assessments for their Public Car Parks, as they don’t legally have to.

In a written reply to my complaint about the dangerous state of an area in the West Green Car Park, Mr Lynn replies as follows:

“Dear Mr Power,

We have spoken with the car parking team here regarding risk assessment and they have responded as below …

Arun District Council does not have specific risk assessments for specific car parks and it is not a legal requirement. The car parks are patrolled by our contract staff and where there are Health & Safety issues they are reported. The West Green car park was not closed because we considered it a safety issue but because we recognised that the amount of mud and water on the surface would deter people from parking in that area.”

Kind regards,

Nigel

 

Arun District Council Car ParkNo risk to safety, according to Arun District Council – only the appearance forced the closure of the Car Park.

No need for risk assessments as Arun isn’t legally obliged to undertake any.

Presumably they’re unaware of their Legal Duty Of Care to car park users under common law?

In any event in the absence of specific legislation requiring them to carry out a Risk Assessment, you’d imagine that common sense would require them.

And to claim that this car park isn’t dangerous, well what can I say?

Meanwhile, Arun District Council Car Parks have announced changes to their Car Parking Charges as detailed below.

Arun District Council Car Park ChargesYou need to read them very carefully to see what’s going on.

Arun District Council Car ParksRemember, it’s only the appearance of the above mud that forced the closure of Arun District Council’s Car Park.

The above poses no risk to public safety or is likely to pose hazard or danger to the elderly or those in wheelchairs or those pushing baby buggies?

A dangerous Car Park and a Twitter Spat with Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun District Council

Arun District Council Car ParksThis is the muddy mess of a car park that Arun District Council have provided for visitors to Pier Road and Harbour Park.

Arun District Council Car ParkHow Arun could expect the elderly and disabled to essentially scramble through this mess is beyond me.

Arun District Council Car ParkDespite Arun District Council’s CEOs (aka traffic wardens) patrolling the South Terrace area just by Pier Road on a regular basis to whop a ticket on anyone who dares to park in the now empty and deserted South Terrace area – they made no report of how dangerous this car park was.

So is it any wonder so many weren’t using it?

Anyway, after a complaint by myself to Arun’s Chief Executive about the dangerous state of this car park, Mr Lynn’s office informs me that this Car Park has now been closed and that visitors to Pier Road can park free in the main Western Green Car Park.

How they intend to police this is anyone’s guess, but meanwhile the aggressive and over-bearing actions of their Traffic Wardens continue.

Arun District CouncilMy last post where I thought that common sense would actually prevail regarding over-attentive Traffic Wardens, was sadly misplaced. Their actions continue. Here they are providing a high visible deterrent for anyone thinking of visiting and supporting our businesses.

You could now play a game of football in the Western end of South Terrace, it’s so quiet. Yet, Arun District Council’s Traffic Wardens continue to patrol this area as if it were some dangerous hot spot.

So, if you’re visiting Pier Road, please use the free car parking area in front of the Windmill Public House.

I have asked Mr Nigel Lynn CEO of Arun for an explanation as to why given the incessant visits and patrols by his parking officers they never highlighted the very obvious and very real dangers of this car park.

I will publish his reply in a future post when available.

Meanwhile, thank you to all of you who continue to support our businesses in Pier Road. We all do appreciate your custom and I can’t say how important it is for us to get your support.

As regular customers know, we have all suffered a loss in trade, in some cases (including our own) this loss has been dramatic and substantial.

And now, to that Twitter Spat with Councillor Paul Dendle..

(you can read it on our twitter feed @pier_road)

Contrary to what Councillor Paul Dendle stated in my twitter exchange earlier, Compensation Packages have not been agreed with Pier Road Traders and these negotiations continue under what are proving to be difficult circumstances for us all.

It’s about time once and for all that the ‘compensation myth’ perpetuated by Candy Flow Towers (AKA Arun District Council) was once and for all put to death. We’re not all sitting here comfortably earning a fat compensation payment while the works continue outside our doors.

Many of us are enduring sleepless nights, worrying as to how we’ll pay our bills and, there has been Job losses.

Councillor Dendle would do well to know that prior to shooting off on Twitter with his insensitive, untrue and highly inflammatory comments.

Incidentally, I discovered that Councillor Paul Dendle is the Arun District Council Cabinet Member responsible for Flood Defences in the Arun District having heard him on the local radio. He was being interviewed by Neil Pringle from BBC Southern Counties in relation to the anger of residents in Pagham who say that their flood defences provided by Arun District Council have failed.

Given that we in Pier Road have been in consultation with Arun District Council and the Environment Agency since 2010 regarding the construction of the Sea Defences in Pier Road, I expressed my surprise that we haven’t seen Councillor Dendle at any of the Stakeholder Consultation Meetings.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable of myself to ask why the Cabinet Member for Flood Defences hasn’t attended any of the Stakeholder Consultation meetings in relation to Arun’s biggest flood defence scheme costing £15million.

Councillor Dendle’s confusing reply was to say he wasn’t invited and then blame me for not inviting him to the meetings.

Given that his council arrange and facilitate these meetings and invite us, I’m understandably confused as to why Councillor Dendle would be believe it’s my responsibility to invite him to his own council’s meeting?

I also don’t think it’s unreasonable that given the dangerous and appalling state of the above car park and the fact that he is the Cabinet Member for Car Parks that I asked him for his opinion on the state of the above Car Park.

Councillor Dendle is an elected representative and I’m astonished that he knows so little about what’s going on in relation to matters in his own Cabinet Portfolio.

I’m even more astonished that he’d take to Twitter to demonstrate this.

A bizarre exchange with Councillor Dendle followed, which you can follow on the Pier Road Twitter Feed @Pier_road.

In any event I will ensure that Councillor Dendle is invited to our next Stakeholder Consultation meeting where some of us, at least are really looking forward to meeting him.

Make sure you sign up to the Pier Road Diaries blog to receive all the latest from Pier Road Diaries. Just enter your email address on the top right hand corner of the blog. You can also follow us on twitter @Pier_Road

Leisure Strategy Meeting Arun District Council.

Now that the irritating business of the local elections are over, Arun District Council’s ruling Tory Party can get on with deciding the future of Littlehampton’s swimming pool and Windmill Theatre.

The previous meeting was dramatically postponed only hours before it was due to start when Arun District Council’s Chief Executive Nigel Lynn, announcing that a substance, which may have contained asbestos had been discovered while work was being undertaken in the council’s chambers.

Many locally, suspected the council were using the asbestos gag as a way of postponing what are some very difficult decisions, until once the local County Council elections had taken place.

The local view being that Arun District Council wouldn’t want to make unpopular decisions that may loose them votes. In any event, Asbestos wasn’t found, which hardly came as a surprise as by Law Arun District Council were obliged some years ago to undertake an Asbestos Survey of their building. One could safely assume that this survey would have been thorough and that if any hint of Asbestos was present, it would have been discovered back then.

In any event, Arun District Councillor, Paul Dendle, the councillor in charge of leisure and tourism and whose brief includes the Swimming pool and  leisure facilitates, took to the Littlehampton Gazette, to assure the local population that postponing the said meeting, wasn’t a conspiracy (his words, not mine) and that it was a sensible precaution to save guard all our well beings.

Councillor Dendle subsequently secured the lowest of all the Candidates when he stood for West Sussex County Council in the recent County Elections. Polling only 462 votes and coming behind the Labour Party (512 votes), Liberal Democrats (526 votes), with Ann Margaret of UKIP being elected with 1044 votes.

Tonight’s  meeting,   which is widely expected to be over-subscribed by irate local voters angry at seeing much loved local leisure facilities threatened with either closure or relocation, will be broadcast live by Arun District Council.

Arun District Council must be congratulated for this initiate to broadcast live the Council meetings, and I hope in the future, they may include many more full council meetings.

You can view the proceedings live here.

Arun District Council Draft Leisure Strategy

Arun District Council’s Draft Leisure Strategy.

Arun District Council have now published their Draft Leisure Strategy, 17th September 2012.

The Council commissioned consultants  Colliers International to work up this Strategy, which is now open for the public to comment. A number of dates and venues are advertised on Arun District Council’s website where the public are invited to come along and meet with officers to discuss these proposals.

The document itself is quite lengthy covering all areas of Arun including Bognor Regis and Arundel  and goes into some detail.

It’s well worth a read, although I’d recommend printing a copy off as reading it online isn’t the easiest as you need to cross-reference backwards and forwards.

Some of the key areas for Pier Road, Littlehampton and the seafront local to us here include:

Cycling

One of the proposals is to improve cycling facilities. I’m all for improving cycling, after all our primary area of business is, cycling and to this extent I welcome the proposals to improve cycling infrastructure locally.

While I welcome these proposals and hope they will actually become a reality, I have got to say it’s a shame that it’s only now that Arun District Council is waking up to the fact that cycling is not only good for the residents’ health and well-being, but the economy also.

However, other proposals, I’m not too sure about.

Littlehampton’s Windmill Theatre.

The first one concerns the Windmill Theatre, which Arun want to close as Colliers Consultants claim: ‘it’s not fit for purpose and the cost to the rate payer exceeds the value it brings.”

As an alternative, they’re proposing  – “a hotel on the site would provide a good attraction and release some value for investment and improvements in the town.”

I have always said Littlehampton needs a hotel. The town’s last hotel, the Beach Hotel, which was located just along the seafront from the Windmill site was closed and sold off to developers where it was turned into luxury, consequently, unaffordable housing.

Elsewhere in Collier’s Report,  they state that cinemas, particularly seafront ones, are good for attracting people.

“The research shows that going to the cinema
is popular and is growing in popularity.
People of all ages like to go to the movies.
Cinemas are, because of this popularity,
often built as “anchors” for developments
that have restaurants. The surveys show
that people in Arun would like better cinema
and that young people, in particular, would
like a multi-screen cinema.
• A cinema plus restaurants overlooking the
sea, would be an attractive destination that
people would come from a distance to.”                 Source, Page 20, 2c, Draft Leisure Strategy.”

———-
So they’re proposing to get rid of Littlehampton and its surrounding areas only cinema and replace it with a hotel?

Surely it would make more sense to build a hotel incorporating either the old or a renovated Windmill Theatre and Cinema, thus improving on an additional much loved and needed local facility while creating a new and much needed attraction.

Littlehampton Swimming Pool

Littlehampton’s Swimming Pool is a much used local resource with a busy, vibrant, award-winning swimming team, health and fitness centre, which all sits nicely overlooking Littlehampton Seafront.

Collier’s see this essentially as a waste of prime residential land and while the offer a number of proposals to relocate this facility – eg, in Littlehampton Town Centre or in the nearby Littlehampton Academy, their bottom line view as per their report is:

“The Site of the Littlehampton Swimming Pool and Sports complex is attractive for development because it overlooks both the seafront and promenade gardens…”

Who could disagree with this statement?

But replace the word ‘development‘ in the above statement with ‘swimming pool and leisure complex‘ and you get equally compelling reasons why this site is suitable for a Swimming Pool and Fitness Complex.

Understandably, locally there is much opposition to these two proposals.

I hope we’re not going to see history repeating itself and much loved, much needed local and visitor attractions sold off to developers to create profitable gated residential developments benefiting only a small few.

The reports can been read and downloaded at Arun District Council’s Website here.