Bognor vs Littlehampton funding row reignited

How Littlehampton High Street could look if funding is found for improvements SUS-161107-153209001
How Littlehampton High Street could look if funding is found for improvements SUS-161107-153209001

‘Sibling rivalry’ between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton was reignited last week as councillors debated funding for regeneration.

Improvements to Littlehampton town centre were endorsed by full council last Wednesday, with £4.85million funding to be sought.

But Bognor councillors noted how just a quarter of that sum was being invested in their town centre.

Marine ward councillor Jim Brooks said: “I just note that £4.85million compared with the £1.2million of public realm work being spent in Bognor Regis, that’s just a quarter of what we plan to spend in Littlehampton.

“I think that only adds to the feeling of some of my electors that the money is being spent over the water.”

Hotham councillor Paul Wells noted how Littlehampton High Street had been dug up and repaved in the late 1990s, adding it had ‘held up pretty well’.

The Liberal Democrat councillor appeared to be irked by the word ‘regeneration’ arguing it had been ‘banded around’ for years.

“In Bognor Regis we are still waiting for regeneration and here we are banging on about regenerating Littlehampton again,” he said.

“I’ve no issue with improving and making things look good for visitors which is what we should be doing but can we just drop this word regeneration and perhaps think of a new word, now, because regeneration is done to death. 20 years on we are still regenerating.”

Both Mr Wells and Mr Brooks supported the plans – but their comments provoked a fiery response from Tory councillor Ricky Bower.

He said: “I’m very disturbed to hear councillor Brooks and councillor Wells being so divisive in pitching Bognor Regis against Littlehampton yet again. I thought we’d buried that idea. We sit here as Arun District councillors to serve the best interests of the whole district and not the patch that happened to elect us.”

Paul Dendle, councillor for Arundel and Walberton, said the issue was akin to a ‘sibling rivalry’.

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