Where has Chichester’s Civic Pride gone?

If you get off a bus outside Chichester Cathedral, what do you see?
Dilapidated flower beds with a sign proudly displaying the fact that they belong to Chichester City Council.  There’s also another weed-strewn flower bed nearby beside Phillip Jackson’s statue of St Richard.  Why isn’t this flower bed maintained by the Cathedral’s works team?

Uncared-for trees on West Street
Uncared-for trees on West Street leave littel room for buggies and pushchairs. Photo Brian Henhan

Let us return to our hapless bus passengers, residents or visitors to Chichester leaving their bus, who will have to squeeze (this is late July), beneath and between untrimmed over-hanging lime trees, negotiate rubbish on the ground.  Across the road is another eye-sore, the once proud Army and Navy store (and later House of Fraser) now seemingly abandoned for the past four years waiting for its Guernsey-based owners to decide its future.  If our bus passengers get as far as the Cross, they are just as likely to fall over one of the trip hazards on our pavements.  When is our highway authority, West Sussex County Council (WSCC), going to do something about the parlous state of the paving?

We live in hope!  Chichester District Council (CDC) has commissioned a Regeneration Strategy for Chichester, agreed at Full Council in mid-July – but this city is in dire need of action now!  Could our City Council better maintain not only their flower beds but also pay for sweepers to keep pavements in front of the Cathedral clean?  Cannot the interminable
discussions about paving in the city centre – and who pays for what – be concluded at long last by WSCC?  And we must ask CDC to publish their Regeneration Strategy and deliver it as soon as possible.  In the meantime, our ‘Councils’ should do their bit to improve the dilapidated state of our city centre now and not later.  If they can’t do it perhaps we the
residents should form a work party to tidy the place up!

Peter Evans, Chairman