THE headline in the Observer (September 14) ‘We’re not just another faded seaside resort’, is erroneous.
Quoting from a study by Tourism South East, your report states: ‘The figures show that the value of tourism in Hastings, at £239 million in 2011 increased by 2.8 per cent from 2010’. This confirms what we all know to be the case, tourism in Hastings is suffering.
Retail price inflation in January 2011, stood at 5.1 per cent. Peaking in September 2011 at 5.6 per cent, in December 2011 it was 4.8 per cent.
One element contributing to these numbers is VAT, which was 17.5 per cent in 2010 increasing to 20 per cent in 2011. To have stood still, tourism related expenditure in Hastings would exceed £245 million in 2011, at £239 million it is going backwards.
The lead member for regeneration at Hastings Borough Council finds the £239 million figure ’staggering’. It is surprising the sector hasn’t deteriorated further, consistent with the council’s failure to help the industry in any way, and most likely because traditional seaside tourism has experienced a revival in the UK in general.
Once again, elementary statistical analysis is damning for Cllr Chowney as a person with responsibility for guiding a way ahead for the Hastings economy.
A letter in your pages from Kevin Head asks: ‘Is it now time to look at alternatives to our sitting councillors and vote for people who really want to give something to our town?’ My answer is yes, but we should be sure the new intake is capable.
Hastings councillors are bumbling, buck-passing individuals, unsure of their powers or their responsibilities. It is high time for a clear-out, they need replacing with new blood.
Sedlescombe Road South