Seafront shelters - a mixed bag for the town

FINALLY - the designs for the new seafront shelters have been unveiled.

The whole affair has been quite a long and drawn-out process, starting with the original winning architects pulling out of the competition and the runner-up going back to the drawing board as it was felt that design was unsuitable.

While the timber material and the addition of backrests and armrests to the seating is likely to please the majority of residents, we anticipate the use of open space at the back and in the roof will not.

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The council says these shelters will protect those using them from the prevailing south-westerly winds.

However Bexhill is much more exposed to the elements than nearby Eastbourne (which is sheltered by the South Downs and Beachy Head) and sometimes on the seafront the wind feels like it's blowing from all directions at once.

And those wanting a design which draws on Edwardian influences are bound to be disappointed.

The whole of the western seafront is pretty messy right now, normal for any construction site.

In a scheme the size of Next Wave the proof will be in the pudding - ie how the whole thing, flowerbeds and all, hangs together once it is complete.

We await readers' reactions with interest.

Terrible fright in the post

WHAT an awful fright for Bexhill mum Claire Overfield when she opened her post only to find a letter from the Department of Works and Pensions expressing condolences over the "death" of her 14-week-old baby girl.

Her distress is quite justified, especially as Ruby suffers from Downs Syndrome (the family's original contact with the DWP was to apply for benefit to help care for her child).

We are becoming so reliant on automated systems these days that such distressing mistakes are becoming more and more commonplace.

And with huge public service cuts on the horizon and more pressure on staff, will these errors continue to multiply?