From: Paul Levy
The Argus yesterday reports on further sinister comments from a council spokesperson who claims there are no plans to lose the cafe in the gardens “as a service”.
Once more, carefully worded spin. No mention that the current building will remain. This is why the Friends are geared up for a major campaign of protest that will do its best to ensure the cafe building as it is on its current lovely site is saved for future generations.
You know, I don’t think the Council has any real idea of what it might be getting itself into here. More people are joining the Friends as we speak (I’m just being a big mouth on here and am fairly small fry compared to the support gearing up.) The Council claim to be guardians of the “bigger picture”, which is taking the form of a grandiosely named “Master plan”. True public service is about humility and remembering that bigger pictures are held, not by councils, but by the wider community they are supposed to be serving, without ego. The wider community around this cafe, developed over 50 years is huge, stretching beyond the borders of our city right out to the four corners of the earth. This same community could be better engaged in supporting the lottery bid, if only the council realised the current cafe building and patio is an established, vibrant culture of its own. It may be on the pavilion estate, but it is now a valuable thing in its own right. The council have no moral right to touch it.
By : David Sewell
Just to let you all know that the “future of the cafe” is very unclear.
The Council with the Brighton Festival have confirmed at a recent high level meeting that we are not in “their vision” for the gardens if they are successful in getting Heritage Lottery Funding over the next year or so. They wont tell us what their plans are, although it is fairly clear they want an opening into New Road where our cafe currently is.
The facts are that the Royal Pavilion (Council) and the Brighton Dome (Festival) are joining together in seeking up to £22 million of funding which will include work in the gardens. The first phase application will be made by the end of November with successful bids given money in Mar/Apr 2014 to move forward detailed costings and plans. Final decisions made in 2015 with work starting in 2016.
A small Friends group has been very supportive and helping me over the last few months but I think the time has come to tell all our Friends about the uncertain future.
Only the “Community” that the cafe has become over the last 73 years will give us a chance of survival beyond 2015.