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Latest news items appear first on our Home Page. We welcome submissions of news stories or information on Harbour issues. Please email the website editor: webmaster@shra.co.uk

20 May - Council to take over running of Eastbourne Sovereign Centre - The management of Eastbourne's Sovereign Centre will be returned to Eastbourne Borough Council from 14 June. The decision was made by Eastbourne Leisure Trust and its managing agent Serco Leisure, following lengthy discussions with the Council, after reaching a break point within the current contract. Staff have been advised of the changes, which include all employees being transferred to Council employment contracts. EBC Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism & Enterprise, Councillor Margaret Bannister said "We are committed to ensuring the continuation of our leisure services, so it is essential that the Council steps in to maintain the running of the Centre, for the time being. We want to reassure staff, residents and visitors that we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth transition, so that we are in the best position possible when it is time to reopen.

04 May - Annual Rentcharge - SHRA writes another letter to the Sovereign Harbour Trust - following our earlier exchange of correspondance with the Sovereign Harbour Trust CIC (see below under 17 April), we have again written to them asking for more details of the charges and for greater engagement with the residents, including SHRA having regular meetings with the CIC board. Click here to read SHRA's letter...

04 May - Brown-tail moth caterpillar - From May through to early July, the brown-tail moth will be at caterpillar stage, feeding on plants and shrubbery in often large numbers and producing webbing. If the caterpillar, which is brown, has a dotted white line down each side and two distinctive red dots near the end of its back, comes into contact with people its barbed hairs can cause a painful skin rash. Infestations have been reported at several places around the Harbour including on the harbour spit. Last week, some areas were sprayed by Premier's pest controllers. Click links for further information and advice from: Butterfly Conservation... and from: The Royal Horticultural Society...

04 May - Waste sites to re-open - Household waste and recycling sites in East Sussex will begin to re-open to the public from 10am on Monday 18 May. We expect the sites to be extremely busy so be prepared to queue and we ask that you only come to them if you have waste that it's absolutely essential to dispose of at this time. If you're able to compost waste, or safely store it at home for the time being, please do. Note:
• A limited number of unloading bays will be in use
• Only one person at a time will be allowed to use the access ramps
• Staff will not be able to help you unload
• Trailers and over-sized vehicles will not be allowed on site
• Chargeable waste - plasterboard, asbestos, tyres, hardcore and soil - will not be accepted
• The re-use shops will remain closed.
Click for latest information on rubbish and recycling from ESCC...

04 May - The COVID Symptom Tracker app - has been developed by King’s College London and health science company ZOE, and is endorsed by the Welsh Government, NHS Wales, the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland. 

More than 2.5 million participants (2000 in Eastbourne - more needed) of all ages and backgrounds have downloaded the app and are using it to regularly report on their health in order to help stop COVID. The data is helping to show where and how the virus spreads. Please consider joining this important reasearch today. For more information visist: https://covid.joinzoe.com/

23 April - Work on the shingle bank - we are aware of the digger and what appears to be drilling equipment on the shingle bank near to Pacific House and are making enquires to find out what they are up to. At a guess, they are sampling the mound to test the state of the rubbish buried beneath it. We'll report here when we have any further info. Update recieved from Cllr Paul Metcalfe MBE "Today, I have spoken to the deputy Harbour Operations Manager re above. He has informed me that Premier Marinas Head Office have requested soil samples of the shingle bank. No specific reason was given for the soil samples to be taken. The bulldozer working at the Pacific House end of the bank is removing some shingle in order the equipment can be more easily sited on top of the mound."

17 April - Eastbourne Local Lottery - a weekly lottery that directly supports local good causes and community initiatives. Although the Council oversees the lottery, it does not benefit financially as all benefits go to local good causes. Proceeds go to a general good cause fund or you can chose to support a specific local cause. At this critical time your support may be absolutely vital to making sure causes across our communities stay open. Tickets cost £1. Top price is £25,000. Click here for more details and to sign up...

17 April - Rentchage - SHRA continues to investigate the annual rentcharge paid by residents. In January we wrote to the Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) Community Interest Company about some aspects of the charge and received a reply. Click here to read the correspondence... Although the reply from the CIC addresses the points we raised, it also shows the complexity of the charge and the rather abstruse way in which the sums are calculated and shared out between the Environment Agency and Premier Marinas. We shall be asking the CIC for twice-yearly meetings with them and greater transparency in the bills so it is made clearer how much is going to sea defences, administration and Premier Marinas.

13 April - Mari-Anne Elder's keep fit classes - To adapt and support my clients and community I have created a programme of online classes as you can see from the newsletter below. I am also holding a free 20 minute session at 4pm Monday to Friday so that anyone can follow from their balconies. They are visible from Pacific Heights (I stand on the pontoon directly opposite) and the open end of North harbour. The more people that join in, the more people will be able to see others to copy - even if they can’t see me!! I am also happy to offer the Tuesday on-line self massage session for free (see newsletter) Click here for newsletter...

08 April - East Sussex County Council Coronavirus Community Hubs - Community hubs are the contact point that residents of East Sussex can turn to if they:

● feel they need extra help in coping with the effects of coronavirus
● know someone else who needs help.

Many people will already have the support they need from family, friends, carers or neighbours and will not need their community hub. But it’s vital that no one is left on their own if they feel isolated, unwell or anxious. No one in East Sussex will be left on their own. This is the need community hubs will meet. Click for more info and contact telephone numbers from the ESCC website...

05 April - The Waterfront car park to be extended and used for boat storage - Premier Marinas have applied to extend The Waterfront car park. Full details of the application are on the EBC planning website (ref: 200138). The plan involves flatenning and replacing with tarmac the large brick planter opposite the Yacht Club and the ‘garden’ created by a resident (development Site 5), to provide 60 more car parking spaces that will benefit events at The Waterfront and the Community Centre. The plans also include a removable, galvanised 1m high fence that will be installed “when car park “C” [is] used for boat storage”. Car park “C” is the new area plus half the existing adjacent area up to the mound (see proposed plan and design statement ). SHRA will ask Premier for more details about the boat storage element; in the meantime, please let us have any comments on the plan. You can also leave comments on the EBC planning webpage shown above. info@shra.co.uk

09 April - Beachwork Update - Under normal circumstances, we would still have some more work to do to get the defences in an ideal condition for summer and early autumn. However, the most at risk defences will be in place by the end of today so that machines will leave the beach for the summer this afternoon [Thursday].

Should the weather change for the worse, a safe system of working has been developed so that machines can return if required, whilst still meeting government guidelines for control of the COVID-19.

Whilst spring may seem to be here for now, there are still some big tides to come. My paper copy of local tide tables suggests otherwise, with 7.6m tides over Easter and 7.5m in May. Calculating them through Admiralty Tide Table software begs to differ. They show 8.1m tides today and 7.9m in May and August. At least the weather is set calm for now, so the Easter tides should pass without incident.

Sospan Dau looks set to start dredging work at Sovereign Harbour in late April, which is needed to keep the entrance channel clear so the lifeboat can successfully launch at any time. She has other outstanding work to complete along the south coast and is then expected to start Pevensey’s annual beach recharge to the north of the marina in late May. No doubt there will be changes to this programme, but I will provide updates as work phase becomes clearer.

Ian Thomas
Project Manager
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd

31 March - Retail Park - Exchange with M&G - SHRA wrote to M&G the owners of the retail park about its run-down appearance and the empty cinema unit. In their reply, M&G (click here) say they are considering options for the cinema space. It is not clear whether this simply means trying to find tenants for the cinema units or some other plan for the cinema site, so we would certainly welcome the proposed briefing meeting with them.

M&G mention the "conditions relating to use" attached by EBC to the planning permission for the cinema units. If you read these conditions (click here p4-5) it is no wonder M&G are having difficulty finding tenants when retail fashion, footwear, sportwear, children’s wear, toys and food are not to be permitted, “in order to protect the vitality and viability of the town centre”.

M&G were planning to start tendering for some canopy and shopfront refurbishment work this year that would have included action to deter vandalism of the empty cinema unit and some repair to the car park, but we note that a complete repair of the car park and the “full scheme refurbishment” (whatever that means) is dependent on occupiers being found for the cinema site, and that the planned bus link route is still only being “discussed”.

Given the above, the general state of the retail industry and the current lock-down, we wonder how much will actually happen this year. SHRA will continue to chase M&G, EBC and the local councillors for action to improve the retail park.

28 March - Rentcharge - 2001 Deed - Our research on the Sovereign Harbour rentcharge continues and we have now published digital copies (PDF) of the Sovereign Harbour Beaches Sea Defence Deed 2001 and its Schedules which, together with the Southern Water Deed 1988, form the basis of the charge, the beach work and the creation of the Sovereign Harbour Trust. Find them here... (halfway down the page). Please let us have any comments on them.

27 March - Together We Can Save Lives - A Message From Chief Constable Giles York. "Our policing services are still delivering safety for you whenever you need them. We are all in this together and I know that Sussex communities are responding well." Click here for the video message on YouTube from the Chief Constable...

"Sadly, there will always be those people who take advantage of the situation. We are seeing an increase in fraudsters and scammers – see our advice on protecting yourself, but if you think you have been a victim you can report to Action Fraud.

Please continue to report any suspicious activity to us on 101 or online and 999 in an emergency. We urge you not to call 101 with general coronavirus enquiries, but look at the Government website for information. Please keep our 101 and 999 lines free for people with genuine policing needs."

26 March - TV Licensing Scam emails - Beware. There are emails arriving that pretend to be from TV Licensing that are fraudulent. They begin "This is an automatic notification from TV Licensing. We are sorry to let you know that the TV Licence could not be automatically renewed. Something's gone wrong with your payments" and they invite you to click on a link.

Such emails should be ignored and deleted. Do not click on any links, do not reply.

26 March - Beachwork Update - Although we can’t say for sure, it feels as though winter may be behind us and spring set to arrive. Normally at this time of year we would undertake a final round of recycling to ensure the beach is in good shape for summer. There is still work to be done in completing repairs resulting from last month’s storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, but given the current COVID-19 situation, we will be trying to minimise work as much as possible.

Assuming there are no more storms, we will finish by Thursday 9th April at the latest. To work out what is the minimum that needs to be done, I will be doing a beach survey first thing tomorrow, and this will be used as the basis for starting recycling again on Monday 30th March.

Where possible the range that the dumpers will travel each day will be limited to short hauls rather than running longer distances. Overall though works are liable to be required in several places between Cooden and Sovereign Harbour. In order to keep drivers as isolated as possible, I expect all dumpers to travel back to the Agency depot every afternoon, as they make less noise and vibration than bulldozers and excavators, but that will mean more ruts in the beach while work is in progress. All ruts will be removed before machines leave on Thursday 9th. Hopefully that will be sufficient until autumn, but who knows?

Ian Thomas
Project Manager
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd

25 March - Dogs on Leads - we publish a letter from a resident concerned about coronavirus infection from dogs. Letters page...

21 March - Coronavirus COVID 19 Cases - official figures.
World-wide (source WHO etc.) - Click here...
UK (source Public Health England) - Click here...

21 March - Two Eastbournes - we publish a letter responding to an earlier one about an alternative to the rentcharge. Letters page...

19 March - Meeting with Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd (PCDL) - SHRA recently meet with Ian Thomas of Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd (PCDL) for a chat about the beach work that PCDL undertake. Click here for our note of the meeting...

17 March - Community Centre Open Day Postponed until further notice due to the current coronavirus situation. At present we have no date confirmed for the rescheduled event.

15 March - Two Eastbournes - an Alternative to the Rentcharge - We publish a letter from a SHRA member suggesting an alternative to the annual harbour rentcharge. Comments welcome.

11 March - Improved Coastal Access - Natural England have submitted its compendium of reports to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs setting out their proposals for improved access to the coast between Eastbourne and Camber. These proposals form part of a programme to establish a continuous walking route around England's coastline, as set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Only owners, tenants or occupiers of affected land may make an objection to the Secretary of State, but anyone can make a representation to the Secretary of State about these proposals. The following documents relating to the proposal are available to view online:
● The Overview and reports with accompanying maps (Section EBC1 covers the route as it crosses Sovereign Harbour).
● The form that must be used for making a representation.
● Guidance notes to help you complete the form. Click here to view them on the GOV.UK website...
The opportunity to comment closes at midnight on Thursday, 23 April 2020. All representations and objections will be considered before the Secretary of State makes a final decision about the report. SHRA would be pleased to hear members views on the proposals info@shra.co.uk

08 March - Water Lodge Meeting - SHRA met with Premier to discuss some of our concerns about these lodges. A note of our meeting is available by clicking here...

09 Feb - Additional Seating - Many people would like additional seating around the harbour. Although there is funding for a few more seats, the Residents Association has a problem. Residents near the proposed new seats are usually opposed as they fear it will increase rowdy behaviour. There may be unsocial behaviour in the harbour, but this occurs independently of any seating. No problems have been reported with the existing seating, for example those seats in front of Midway Quay.
SHRA has been round the harbour with the local councillors and we have identified areas where additional seats should not cause problems. For example, sites which back onto garages - see map... As a minimum we would like one more seat in the inner harbour and one in the outer harbour. But the Council will still need to consult nearby residents. So, if you are asked perhaps you could think about those who are less able to walk far and support this initiative. In the unlikely event that a particular seat does become the focus of unsocial behaviour, it can be taken out.

09 Feb - Floating Apartment Arrives - A sharp-eyed SHRA member has sent us the above photo showing the arrival of the proposed houseboat we had heard about. We’ve tracked down the supplying company: www.waterlodge.co.uk. On their Facebook page www.facebook.com/waterlodge they are already advertising it…
Quote "Would you like to experience a new way of living from the comfort of your own stylish and iconic home-from-home on the water? Our Waterlodge Three is coming to Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, where you could realise your dream to a backdrop of blue skies, beaches and sweeping South Downs countryside. Please get in touch to find out more and book your viewing"
SHRA is arranging a meeting with Premier during the week commencing Monday 24th Feb where we will seek clarification and assurances from them on these houseboats e.g. is the initial intention to sell or to rent them? Are others planned? Where are they to be moored? On the website, the Waterlodge Three is shown with an optional roof terrace; would that be allowed? Is this of any more concern than more boats? Please let SHRA have your initial views on this matter as soon as possible. Email: chair@shra.co.uk

07 Feb - Beach Work Update - Storm Ciara - The media have been highlighting the dangers of the approaching Storm Ciara for several days and no doubt there will be the risk of flooding along this section of coast. It does however seem to be an unusual weather pattern to understand. For instance there is now an amber warning for wind on the Sussex coast for Sunday, which is when the biggest waves are expected. Normally storm surges increase water levels on an approaching southwesterly weather system. Unusually all day Saturday and Sunday surges are negative. That all changes on Monday, when although waves are expected to be smaller, there will be a positive surge. The result is that there does not appear to be one particular tide that will result in more erosion than the others.

06 Feb - New Committee Members - We are very grateful to the following members who have joined the SHRA committee; Tracy Hobden, Ray Johnson, Anne Marigold, Madeleine Mayhew, Dave Rodgers and Lindsay Roff. This will really help us spread the workload, make us more effective and ensure SHRA’s continuance.

06 Feb - North Harbour Beach - SHRA and the Sovereign Harbour Neighbourhood Panel have received some complaints about a small number of dog walkers on the North Harbour beach not picking up their dog’s poo; and about people riding a scramble bike along the beach. We would remind everyone that above the high-water mark the North Harbour beach is private property and owners of scramble bikes or other motorised vehicles should not use it for that purpose without the express permission of the landowners. Dog walkers must clean up after their dogs, bag the poo and dispose of it in rubbish bins. It is not acceptable to ignore the deposit and leave what is a health hazard on a beach where children romp.

31 Jan - Sovereign Harbour Book and Writing Club - Come along and join book lovers and writers for a monthly get together to read, share, write or sit and listen to words in a friendly meeting place. Next meeting: the first Tuesday of each month at 10am-12 noon in the Meeting Room, Sovereign Harbour Community Centre. Chosen author has been Salley Vickers. Also will include some fun creative writing ideas. New members always welcome. There is a free car park, disabled access and refreshments. Cost: £4 per session. For more information contact Philipa Coughlan tel: 07519 143770 or email: pcoughlan@btinternet.com

29 Jan - Community Centre Caretaker wanted - Wave Leisure are advertising a vacancy for a part-time caretaker for the Sovereign Harbour Community Centre. Variable hours, £17k per annum pro rata. Click here for details...

29 Jan - Communty Centre Timetable - this timetable from Wave Leisure lists the events currently being held at the Community Centre. Click here...

20 Jan - Sovereign Harbour Trust and Sovereign Harbour (Sea Defences) CIC Board Vacancy - The following notice has been posted on the SHT web site... The vacancy follows the resignation of Harbour resident Rick Runalls. Ideally, another suitably qualified Harbour resident would take his place. Click here for the vacancy advert....

20 Jan - Note of Sovereign Harbour Trust CIC December Board Meeting - the CIC have published this brief summary on their web site... Note that Mr Collins is Finance Director of Premier Marinas.
SOVEREIGN HARBOUR (SEA DEFENCES) CIC SUMMARY OF BOARD MEETING
ON 9 December 2019

Mr Cervenka and Mr Pursglove were unable to attend the meeting.
Mr Collins took the chair.In addition to routine matters of report, the following business was dealt with:
Accounts for the y/e 30 September 2019 were presented by Mr Beckhurst of Plummer Parsons, the company’s auditors, and approved by the board.
Mr Collins is arranging to provide a more detailed breakdown of Premier Marina’s charges recoverable via the Rent Charge, for publication on the CIC’s website.
A draft advertisement for a new board member was presented by Mrs Weeks, with a view to its publication on the CIC’s website.
2020 meeting dates were agreed as follows: 6 April, 15 June, 21 Sep, 7 Dec.
It was noted that the beach appears to be in good condition at present.
Next meeting will be on 6 April 2020

04 Jan - Sunday Boot Fayre at the Community Centre - Winter Boot Fayres start again this Sunday, January 5th 9am - 12 midday and every Sunday up until April, at Sovereign Harbour Community Centre. Come and have a look round and see what goodies we have. Amazing bargains to be had, great value gifts and cut price goods. As well as Nicki's amazing burgers, bacon rolls and hot and cold drinks, Keith's bargain bonanza shop and a variety of stalls selling everything you never knew you needed. Stalls still available to hire - all profits go to Honeycat Rescue. For further details contact Lucy on 07891207303

08 Jan - The Eastbourne Plan Consultation - If you feel strongly about the Plan's proposal to change land use on Sites 6 and 7a alongside Pevensey Bay Road please visit our web page on The Eastbourne Plan where you will find SHRA’s views on the matter, background material and information about how to respond. This is your one chance to let EBC have your views. The closing date is 24 January.

04 Dec - Defiant Sports move into Sovereign Harbour Premises - Defiant Sports are delighted to announce that they have recently moved into the old Blockbuster Video building in the Sovereign Harbour retail park. The venue is aptly being called the ‘Inclusion Hub’, with their main goal being to provide fully inclusive sport in the community, regardless of ability or disability.

However, due to their Community Interest Company (not-for-profit) status, they are in need of as much help as possible in providing materials, plumbers, electricians, etc. If you know anyone who may be able to help, please drop them an email on info@defiantsports.org.uk.

Alternatively, they have an Aviva Community Crowdfunder page that will be running until 20th December 2019, and any donations would be greatly appreciated. Donations will all go towards refurbishing the Inclusion Hub to give their inclusive sport a home.

For more information about this project, and to make donations, please head to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/defiant-sports-inclusion-hub

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