Lewes Forum thread

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Bill's Tables

On 16 Jun 2014 at 6:47pm will.i.am wrote:
I noticed today the tables to the side by Argos have gone...I wonder how long it will be, before they return!
On 16 Jun 2014 at 7:04pm trooper wrote:
"WILL I AM" Thankyou for the information, I shall look out am Tuesday
On 17 Jun 2014 at 7:33am Tom Jones wrote:
Thanks , Will.
On 17 Jun 2014 at 10:27am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'd love to know if it was a voluntary removal or if they were told to move them.
I'd like to think it was the former, but suspect the latter.
On 17 Jun 2014 at 10:37am Merlin Milner wrote:
Extracts from the replies I got back from ESCC highways.
“Bills do have licence for tables and chairs upon the Highway and this has been the case for many years.
The licence is issued in accordance with section 115 Highway Act 1980 which permits the Highway Authority to licence activities such as these.
The area granted for the use by this business was agreed following the footway build out and changes to the Cliffe.
The Department for Transport guidelines on available width for pedestrians, mobility scooters and child buggies identifies this as a required minimum of 1.2m
This width is considered and used in assessing all applications across the County when an application is received in respect of trading from the Highway.
The design of the build out and changes causes the difficulty for some drivers in identifying the loading bays, this coupled with inconsiderate parking by some alongside the licensed area can have the effect
on occasions of narrowing the down the available footway causing and obstruction. When this happens complaints can be received from time to time concerning BIlls and other premises in possession of licences.
Those parking alongside the tables and chairs are not necessarily delivering or visiting the business in question. This parking can and has given rise to complaints from the traders.
These seem to be less and less as time has gone by compared to when the scheme was first unveiled
Bear Yard is a Private Road from the point where it adjoins the Highway at Cliffe High Street. The Highway Authority has no influence or control over Bear Yard”
On 17 Jun 2014 at 10:58am Local Person wrote:
Thank you Merlin. So who agreed the licensed areas? and what are their boundaries? Is the 1.2m minimum pedestrian route past Bills measured from the kerb towards Bill's? And we all know what a standard minimum is , but given that this was a pedestrian focussed imrovement what is the actual agreed width provided. Why tell us what a UK standard is, but not what the Council agreed? is it that they didn't actually ensure that such details were made clear? Surely Bill's was not assigned as much space as possible, at the expense of pedestrians? Do ESCC really think that we are so stupid that we don't notice that they have omitted to explain to our Cllr exactly what area is licensed? is it marked out in the brickwork at all? That would assist everyone and end this time wasting, pedestrian unfriendly ,nonsense. :-)
On 17 Jun 2014 at 11:46am trooper wrote:
I read with great interest the explanation give ref "Bills" (very good). What I, and I am sure others who read this thread will continue to wonder is given the many hostile comments made why the management of Bills do not defend themselves,after all it cannot be in their business interest to be under attack.
On 17 Jun 2014 at 12:47pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Thanks for that, Merlin. ESCC's response seems to raise as many questions as it answers, as is so often the case.
I wonder who does control Bear Yard?
On 17 Jun 2014 at 1:50pm upset wrote:
ACT - I did report that information in the previous thread. Owned by the people who lease the Argos building; both Argos and Harveys are responsible for maintenance as they have right of way. They think that Bill's may be too.it raises all sorts of issues about liability in the light of any accident since Argos is allowing public access - and Bill's is creating hazards for that access - though a poster above said that Bill's seem to have now removed their tables.....
On 17 Jun 2014 at 2:46pm Local Person wrote:
The Council also has a responsibility to ensure that the point at which an unadopted road becomes an adopted one is safe. Of course, having a load of tables and customers are almost permanently strewn across that point raises an interesting problem if vehicles, especially large ones, are unable to turn, and block the highway. Are the Council saying that is none of their business? None of this would matter if Bill's remains committed to what is right, regardless of what it may or may not be able to get away with. I think that is what irritates most people.
On 17 Jun 2014 at 3:04pm Merlin Milner wrote:
By 'Council' you mean East Sussex County Council.
On 17 Jun 2014 at 3:48pm Very Hot wrote:
What a load of busy bodies you lot are ! If you all all so bothered, why not actually enter Bills and have a word. Rather than tittle tattling on here !
On 17 Jun 2014 at 5:13pm Trip advisor wrote:
because this has been going on for years and Bill's simply takes no notice. A helpful discussion, based on a reasonable concern, that is fact based, and endorsed by a Cllr getting accurate information from a Council is hardly 'tittle-tattle' is it? Nothing is stopping anyone from Bill's coming on here and explaining what has been going on. My guess is that the reason they haven't is because they know that the concerns are reasonable.
On 17 Jun 2014 at 9:55pm will.i.am wrote:
I notice on my way past this evening that the tables are back and chairs in the road!
On 17 Jun 2014 at 10:30pm Inside wrote:
Bill's should pay attention to their 'hidden' hygiene issues from what I'm told. Bags of rotting food, maggots etc. all out of sight from customers.
Does it have a hygiene score/rating of 1 to 5?
On 17 Jun 2014 at 10:52pm EHO wrote:
When Bill owned it, it only had a 2, but now has a 4.
On 18 Jun 2014 at 8:22am upset wrote:
If those tables and chairs are back then I really am going to be upset.
There needs to be a fast solution. Maybe Argos will have to close their car park. Basically they are inviting the public into an unsafe situation as are Bill's ...
Deliveries and other vehicular traffic to Harveys and to Argos must be failing health and safety guide lines to say the least.
On 18 Jun 2014 at 11:49am trooper wrote:
To all who have posted on this thread, I have just returned from the Town and at 11.20 hrs the chairs and tables that were situated in Bear Lane that were used by the patrons of Bill's have been removed.
On 18 Jun 2014 at 12:09pm Liability wrote:
Upset, if Bill's cannot take responsibility for safety then i suspect that some light pressure on Aegos and harveys, as you suggest will acheive some results. If they do nothing and there is an accident after you ahve raised this problem, i suspect they will share liability. All the businesses concerend, including Bill's may want to look at the terms of their public liability insurance too, since I suspect that injury as a result of enabling the public to sit in a shared vehicle access, is covered, and i doubt anyone at Bill's, Harveys or Argos has fessed up to the Insurers that this is what they are allowing to occur.
On 18 Jun 2014 at 12:17pm Yogi Bear wrote:
AT last - my passage is clear !
On 18 Jun 2014 at 1:23pm will.i.am wrote:
They were there last evening!...Looks like they keep it clear during the day when the authorities are around but put them out during the evening. If that's the case, is it to avoid possible prosecution? This makes me think if that's how they operate their business, what else are they covering up with regard to food handling and hygiene. It also shows a lack of caring for their customers and their safety.
On 18 Jun 2014 at 2:16pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Or possibly they have decided that cars won't be going to the Argos car park when the shop is shut.
On 18 Jun 2014 at 5:21pm someone else wrote:
Setting aside the issue of the Argos car park and opening hours, and even if it is a private road, the tables are potentially preventing a fire appliance or ambulance getting to the John Harvey. That ought to be the major cause for concern.

What are the buildings beyond the JHT. Are they private houses?
On 18 Jun 2014 at 9:24pm agros wrote:
Tell argos to get lost and turn their carpark into a fantastic pub garden with beautiful ouse river running past. What the hell do we want argos there for encouraging vehicles into the centre of lewes. Stick it on an industrial estate. When is their lease up for renewal. Kick them out and allow a relevant business to operate their that dosen't encourage vehicles.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 8:41am Bens wrote:
Someone else, you are right to point out that Bill's should not be blocking a fire access. Would they be allowed to pile up boxes next to a fire access to their own premises? I expect that the Fire Service might suggest that it is not enough of an obstruction, because everything could be moved, although , again, insurers may not see it that way, and neither might the residents affected. There are minimum widths for fire and emergency access that you can check.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 8:42am Sussex Jim wrote:
Sitting outside a cafe enjoying food and drink continental style is fine in a continental city with its wide boulevards.
But not in mediaeval Lewes, with its already inadequate pavements.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 10:46am Humbert wrote:
Argos is almost the only shop left on that side of the bridge that ordinary people can afford to shop in. That's why Lewes creates the impression of being a wealthy ghetto. A minority who earn above average earnings are disproportionately visible because the majority are priced out. It's self-perpetuating, and not a good thing.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 11:15am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I noticed last night that there was one table round the corner by Argos, but it was on the very last bit of granite paviour, before the tarmac starts.
My guess is that it was on the very last bit of highway before the private road starts.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 11:48am newhaven bound wrote:
Humbert is exactly right. There is a twee 'local ' ethos that is essentially a nonsense. Lower paid workers are increasingly forced to live non-locally due to property prices. They then have to travel back into the town they can't afford to live in, to provide 'local' services and sell 'local' produce. We end up with affluent people whose picturesque 'local' lifestyle in increasingly expensive and exclusive housing relies on exporting anyone on a lower wage. It is what it is, but it would be nice if people acknowledged what was actually going on, rather than pretend we are in some kind of charming, egalitarian olde fashioned Utopia.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 12:35pm eh wrote:
Thats absolute arsenal, sussexjim. I've been to loads of Italian and french towns with streets that are narrower and more medieval than lewes, yet they still cope with seats outside cafes.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 1:56pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
You make a very valid point, NB.
All the more reason why the St Anne's site should be used for social housing.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 2:20pm Humbert wrote:
Yes a very valid point NB. One thing to note though is that they haven't all been forced out of Lewes - the mean earnings of those who live in Lewes shows that. The majority of the Lewes population live in Malling, Landport and Nevill, the majority of those (with possibly the exception of Nevill given house prices are 20% higher than Malling and 75% higher than Landport) will earn wages from just above national average to significantly lower. The majority of those in the centre will earn more - pretty much anywhere that was in the old town walls plus Southover, Grange Road, up around St Anne's etc.

The danger this creates is you get a two tier town (I personally think we have a three tier town but that's another story). All the fuss from residents about the Premier Inn? I'd be happy to put a bet on the fact that opposition would be even stronger if those who live outside the centre felt like the centre offered something for them.

There are many, many people who live in Lewes who don't ever walk down the High Street or venture into Cliffe, because why would they? Forget Premier Inn, the Depot or parking, that is the biggest risk to preserving the character of the town. The council needs to do far more to encourage people into town. It's not about shopping, it's about making it an environment for everyone and there's plenty of things the council can do about that. Our Councillors seem to lack imagination and the Chamber of Commerce seems just as bad. Before anyone says "stand for election if you want to make a difference" if I thought the Town Council was amenable to change then I would, but I don't think they are...

ACT - social housing, and as it's "our" land, use the proceeds from the sale to buy up some empty shops in town and get them running as affordable community co-op shops...
On 19 Jun 2014 at 2:51pm trooper wrote:
Come on people this is not about class war it is about a local trader making life difficult for a percentage of the population of this town in the persuit of profit aided and abetted by the Lewes "Mafia" aka The Chamber of Commerce, and the LDC who do not wish to rock the boat, (Friends United) I say again why do "Bills" not speak up in their defence, the word cowardice comes to mind.
On 19 Jun 2014 at 2:55pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Humbert et al. Please get involved in the Lewes Neighbourhood Plan. Help fashion Lewes in some of the way that you mention.
LTC is more that amenable to change. Talk to me and others.

Check it out here »
On 19 Jun 2014 at 3:56pm thinker wrote:
Thanks ACT - It's certainly well worth looking at the St Anne's thread currently on this forum if you haven't already. It reflects many of the issues raised in the latter part of this thread about Bill's tables .
On 19 Jun 2014 at 4:15pm back again wrote:
oh, and the tables were back again when i walked past at lunchtime… maybe we could have a 'table cam'
On 19 Jun 2014 at 7:27pm keep the tables wrote:
Get rid of cars and keep the tables and while youre at it take argos with you!
On 19 Jun 2014 at 7:34pm JC wrote:
Enough already ! .. I`ve made a note , and when I come back I`ve got the Giro Chapel , Sudbo`s and Bill`s tables on my list . . Check it out here Mat. 21;12 NIV or James` Olde one.

This thread has reached its limit now
Why not start another one


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Thomas Paine woz ere

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