Comment - June 20, 2014

It seems many people in Newhaven will be glad to see the back of the derelict barge which has sat in the River Ouse for some years.

Newhaven Coastguard reported a number of incidents associated with the boat over the past few years, including injuries and even someone falling overboard and drowning.

Trevor Cutler from the Coastguard said the boat was rotten, with sharp edges and was a magnet for rough sleepers.

Residents are pleased the craft is being removed, apparently to be replaced by a new boat, according to the demolition company handling the barge’s dismantling.

The fire which broke out on the barge this week caused quite a sensation in the town, as well as delays on the A259.

It started when the wind changed direction during a controlled burning of wood by the demolition team on the barge and led to fire fighters being called.

The removal of the boat is a good thing. But it seems as one positive piece of news pops up, another negative story rears its head.

This week it emerged that the last bank in Newhaven, HSBC, plans to quit the town in September because the branch is not viable.

This has caused outrage in the town, with business leaders labelling the move short sighted and pointing to the economic growth and population growth forecast in Newhaven.

Residents will now be forced to travel to other towns to access services, unless they take up online banking. Facebook users in the town were expressing dismay at the news, but some remained hopeful that the University Technical College would offer a glimmer of hope.