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ON THIS AND THE FOLLOWING LN&IoC PAGES are matters which we and others feel more local people should know about, and also on which some people feel concerns, and should receive wider discussion or investigation.  Also, there are subsequent NEWS ARCHIVE pages, current in the past and which may be of interest.


You will all recognise this.  It is the former Brewers Fayre Pub on the seafront – all boarded up right through the summer season.  And this came about through Arun’s inept negotiations with Leaseholder Whitbread, which you can read about if you click here.

The reason being that in yet another blundering piece of negotiation, Arun forgot to ensure that Whitbread would keep the place open for business until their new hotel/restaurant was built nearby.  Arun thought Whitbread would take a new short-term Lease once they’d trousered the buyout cash (£750,000) from the Council – but they forgot to securely build that into the agreement.  With the result that Whitbread grabbed the money, emptied the place out and cleared off with startling speed.  And Arun was left with a tatty run-down empty building to which – to their credit – they moved quite quickly to add cosmetics with a paintbrush and some pretty pictures.


This deal became part of the overall deal involving the Regis Centre and the potential hotel site which you can read about here.  And this deal was negotiated on Arun’s behalf by their “Regeneration Consultant” Neil Taylor who you will see pictured right. He may have worked in conjunction with former CEO James Hassett (now gone), but Mr Taylor remains.

But Neil Taylor had to work very hard to convince Councillors what a wonderful deal with Whitbread this all was.  Arun would be paying £750,000, but this was OK, he said, because Arun could re-let the premises for £125,000 per annum, an excellent return.  And he brushed off suggestions from certain councillors that we wouldn’t get anything like that.

And also, he said, Whitbread would be paying £100,000 to cover dilapidations – which is, basically, covering their responsibility to leave the premises in good condition suitable for immediate re-letting.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  – and most of the councillors lapped it up.


Well, apart from the one allowing Whitbread to skedaddle at speed, the big blunder came to light when, after they’d gone, he had to admit to councillors that to put the premises back into good order would cost “at least” £1 million. This came later, when councillors were discussing ideas about what to do with the place, so NOBODY (as far as we know) has yet questioned why the costs have rocketed from £100,000 to more than £1 million.  But on the face of it, it would appear that Whitbread have been let off the hook to the tune of at least £900,000 which will come out of Council Taxpayers’ pockets.

And, of course, Arun is now ponderously considering what they will do with the place through the inevitable long-winded process of reports and meetings so, not to mention the time that will be taken to carry out £1 million’s worth of work, that re-letting at £125,000 looks far off into the distance – IF it ever happens at all.  Because Fludes, Arun’s advisors in the process were rather less convincing about that level of return than our redoubtable Mr Taylor was.  We will see – or rather, we probably won’t because Arun, obsessed with secrecy as usual (wonder why?) will probably keep the eventual re-letting figure consideration in exempt business.  But don’t worry folks – we’ll find out eventually.


As we can see, it’s “at least” £1million, which will inevitably expand, plus every month that goes by as the premises stand empty we are losing the promised £10,500 rental, all offset, perhaps, by the £100,000 dilapidations money.  All decidedly vague, a common characteristic in Arun, but it seems likely that we Council Taxpayers will be stuffed for something in the region of a £million.  All because of the …erm…negotiating skills of Mr Taylor.  Can we afford this gentleman, especially as his employment is probably costing us, perhaps, £30,000 per annum?  Let us know what you think to our Letters to the Editor page, find our email address at contact us.

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