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December 30 2013.

Mr Grumpy writes:

There are two distinct issues raised by Jim Skinners piece on Seaford Beach. The first is the issue surrounding the beach itself. The second is the issue of our local elected representative.

So to take the first issue first – Seaford Beach.

Every year in November the ‘Super-Size Tonka Toys’ arrive and ‘shuffle’ the pebbles around on Seaford Beach and every year the winter storms then take it all away again.

This year is no different, except that the ‘Super-Size Tonka Toys’ were only here for half the time that they usually are so the job of ‘banking up’ the beach was not such a thorough one as normal.

The first of the big winter storms of this winter arrived only a couple of weeks after the ‘Super-Size Tonka Toys’ had departed and the storm promptly took all the ‘shuffled’ pebbles away again.

I am very aware of the reasons behind this annual ritual of ‘shuffling’ the pebbles. This all started when it was decided that the best flood defence for Seaford was to ruin the original beach and ‘bank up’ a mountain of pebbles instead. Ever since that decision was taken this annual ritual takes place.

Whether this decision all those years ago to ‘bank up’ the pebbles on the beach was the best one as regards to flood defences for Seaford is open to debate. Whist it might be one solution it was almost certainly a ‘cheap quick fix’ as it renders access to the beach and the water’s edge almost impossible unless you happen to be a ‘highly skilled mountaineer’.

As the beach is now, after the recent big storms, access to the beach and the water’s edge is relatively easy and makes the beach a usable amenity once again. It does however very probably leave much of Seaford at risk of flooding though.

The ‘resident bulldozer’ that parks up near Seaford Sailing Club has been pushing pebbles around again this week but to little effect as most of what that bulldozer is pushing around is now actually sand rather than pebbles. There are very few pebbles left to push around. All this ‘resident bulldozer’ is doing is creating a mess!!!

The safety aspect to the work of this ‘resident bulldozer’ must also be questioned. This bulldozer actually enters the surf at low water in an attempt to find pebbles to push up the beach. The guy driving the bulldozer is working on his own, there is no safety cover whatsoever. If the bulldozer failed for any reason whilst in the surf or at the water’s edge then both the bulldozer and the driver would be at the mercy of the sea.

I am unclear if it is the Environment Agency, Sussex CC or Lewes DC that commissions this work, but whichever authority it is, they should be reviewing this operation on safety grounds alone.

It has been said on many occasions before and perhaps it is time that a proper long term solution is put in place as regards to Seaford Beach and flood defences.

One such solution could be to reinstate the groins and thus retain more of the pebbles on the beach. I cite Eastbourne Beach as a perfect example.

Eastbourne Beach does not suffer to the same extent with the pebbles being washed away. The beach is also far more accessible because the groins retain the pebbles so there is not the need to ‘heap them up’ so much in the first place and create the ‘mountain face’ that Seaford Beach so often has.

So my suggestion is that it is way past time that some real money was invested in Seaford Beach and that new substantial groins are put in, similar to those that are in place on Eastbourne Beach.

Perhaps there would not then be the need to keep moving pebbles around as happens at the moment.

The second issue raised in Jim Skinners piece is regarding our locally elected representative.

I can agree that it does seem that many local issues are now being sacrificed possibly because of the demands of the more high power ministerial work.

What we have in fact is an unelected government that the country didn’t vote for. Our government is made up of a cosy club of ‘poor little rich boys’ who don’t know the price of a pint of milk but managed to secure power by creating a coalition. So the truth is that this government has no real mandate to govern or to carry through the very contentious legislation that it seems hell bent on bringing into law.

I believe in other parts of the world such a government would be called a ‘Dictatorship’.

To come back to Jim Skinners comments regarding our own locally elected representative, perhaps our own locally elected representative should consider where the votes might come from at the next election in about 18 months’ time, or possibly sooner. Also, perhaps the local population should give some very careful consideration to just who it is that they may vote for at the next election.

Food for thought or what!

Mr Grumpy
Marine Drive