Look and Sea Centre: decision should be made by those who know Littlehampton well

Whispering Smith column: The autumn leaves of yesterday...
Whispering Smith column: The autumn leaves of yesterday...

Emily Brontë wrote: “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

The fall, my very own favourite season, a time when nature takes back some of what it has given throughout the year.

Animals gain their winter coats and the birds puff out their feathers in preparation for a possible hard winter’s slog.

The trees take on a rare beauty and give their leaves back to the earth and they become part of the land, the soil, refreshing it and gifting us twice over.

Without trees the planet would wither and die for want of the very fresh air we breathe so, why are people so ready to cut them down?

Network Rail fells them by the thousand, having the tenacity to blame rail delays on them for growing alongside the railroad tracks, shedding their leaves on the rails and causing long delays.

Rather than felling they would do better to invest that money in a technology that actually works and keeps the trains moving come autumn leaves, a heatwave or snow.

Now some folk are moaning because leaves are blocking driveways, garages and making a nuisance of themselves in other ways, blocking drains, making walkways slippery. So, what are the council going to do about it? Cut down all of the trees?

I hope not, my community has just raised and spent a good deal of time, effort and money to save a single 150-year-old oak tree and we are proud of that.

|Also in the news - Arun District Council has admitted there are lessons to learn after it received three complaints into a vote on the Look & Sea Centre’s future which was described as a ‘shambles’; unicorns took over a Littlehampton pub for a fundraising event in support of a cancer fighter who inspires others with her Positives Vibes blog; and a man who fell from a multi-storey car park in Worthing is in a critical condition|

We also tend our verges and grassed areas without calling in the local authority. We regularly cut grass, sweep up and clear up when necessary. We collect the leaves, and compost them, they make super mulch later in the year for the flowerbeds that we also tend.

To catch a falling leaf is good luck but it is difficult, the wind teases the catcher, happily I eventually made it, caught one from the old Selborne oak. Thank you, trees.

THE long running Look and Sea Centre farce is getting an ever-growing audience. The plot is getting a little confusing to the general public as it appears to be to council members who claim they are not too sure what they are voting for.

This is a Littlehampton decision and should be kept local to the members who represent us and know the area well.

Everyone should take a step back, first step forward would be to explain to us exactly what went wrong in the first place, an event that led to the sending home of the loyal staff without any reference, warning or wages, although I understand that the latter has now been rectified.

Second step would be to really listen to what we the ratepayers – the electorate – actually want and expect of the site.

The third step, make it quite clear what the options are and what the council itself sees as a preferred future for the centre, then make an informed decision that everyone has a voice in. Confusion only creates discontent and suspicion.

It would also be good for members, whatever their persuasion, along with their officers, that while cogitating they remember that they are there to serve not to rule us.

• If you would like to get in touch with Whispering Smith, please email: whisperingsmith1@gmail.com

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