Eastbourne Tip isn’t open long enough: Out in the Field

Maths has never been my strong point. I failed my mathematics O-Level in spectacular fashion and have struggled with numbers ever since, preferring words to figures.

Household Waste Recycling Site, St. Philips Avenue Eastbourne. march 18th 2014 E11176Q SUS-140319-130805001

That said, even I with a limited amount of mathematical knowledge can see Eastbourne residents are getting a bum deal when it comes to the opening hours of the Eastbourne Household Waste Recycling Site, aka The Tip.

I have my compadre Dave Cooper, who is far better at maths than I, to thank for the information. Dave has just moved back to Eastbourne from Bromley and while sitting in the extraordinary long queue to get in the other day, he made some observations and agrees with me that the St Philip’s Avenue site – which is run by East Sussex County Council and not Eastbourne Borough Council – is actually a very poor contract when it comes to measuring the benefit for Eastbourne residents.

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Take a look at the opening hours of the Eastbourne facility: Monday to Thursday 9am-4pm; Friday 9am-3.30pm; Saturday and Sunday 8am-noon; Bank Holidays closed; and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve: close at 1pm.

Then take a look at somewhere like Bromley’s waste and recycling site’s opening times: Monday to Friday 7am-5.30pm; Saturday 7.30am-4pm; Sunday 8am-1pm; Bank Holidays 8am-4pm apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day when they are shut.

So, in a general working week the residents of Bromley get 23.5 hours extra per week tip access time than the residents of Eastbourne. Over 52 weeks that equates to 1,222 hours less time. And on Bank Holidays the residents of Bromley get 40 hours extra tip time per annum compared to Eastbourne residents.

Such a disparity in opening times must surely be contributing to the massive increase in fly-tipping? And to rub salt into the wounds, it appears Bromley residents pay less for a better service than us here in the sunshine capital of the south. For the average Band C property in Bromley residents pay £1,419.41 yet the same Band C property in Eastbourne will attract a £1,473 bill. Work that one out.

It’s always good to see new businesses opening up in what have been very difficult times of late and a couple of weeks back, I ventured into Ninkaci which has just opened up in the Enterprise Centre.

It bills itself as an independent craft beer store and taproom and is a lovely little sanctuary in the shopping complex. There’s wine, beers and spirits available along with the probably the largest selection of whiskys and cigars south of London. It’s well worth a visit.

What I am really looking forward to in the coming weeks though is the opening of Sheppard’s in East Dean – a daytime café, weekend restaurant and farm shop, focused on sourcing and serving local produce.

I love a farm shop as my friends at Chilley Farm will testify. Due to open on June 21, Sheppard’s in Downlands Way is within the Downlands Estate, just off the A259 and will be seeking to serve the local community and passing tourists alike.

And it will be a great stop-off for walkers and bikers on the South Downs trails.

With dishes such as Chiddingly Hotpot, Sussex Smokie, Sussex Churdle and the renowned Banoffee Pie of nearby Jevington’s Hungry Monk fame on the menu, I simply can’t wait.