Argus readers back campaign to save Brighton's Pavilion Cafe
Former MPs and expectant mums are among hundreds of people to have backed a campaign to preserve a popular café.
For more than 70 years the Sewells have been serving tea and cake to customers in Brighton's Royal Pavilion Gardens.
In just over two weeks, nearly 600 people have added their support to the café.
The future of the family-friendly café was the hottest topic in town at the Meet Your Argus event in Pavilion Gardens.
Former Brighton Pavilion MP David Lepper was enjoying a rock cake at the cafe when he spoke to The Argus.
Mr Lepper said: “I have only lived here in Brighton for 45 years but during that time I have become aware of the importance of some of the more recent additions to Brighton's history.
“That includes buildings like the Pavilion Gardens café.
“I do question whether those people now making decisions actually know about the city they live in.
“They can see the importance of the Royal Pavilion as someone has told them about it.
“Their ideas may be suited to the places they have come from but when you apply it to Brighton it only succeeds in riding roughshod over those that already live here.”
Hundreds of people of all ages have backed the café's plea to remain trading on the place it was set up in 1941.
Among them is Jenny Backwell, who has been coming to the café for 41 years, said: “If people come to visit me in summer the first places they want to visit are North Laine, the Royal Pavilion and the Pavilion Gardens café.”
Kate Turner, 36, who lives in Hollingdean, Brighton, used to work in the café when she was studying at university.
She said: “Brighton thrives on its institutions and the café is definitely one of them, it's a real landmark.”
The bid for funding is set to be submitted in November with a decision due back in May.
A council spokesman said: “There are no plans to get rid of the Pavilion Gardens Café as a service and we want it to stay.
“But we're looking at whether it might be improved for customers or benefit from a better building or access set-up.
“That's all the subject of a current consultation and nothing has been decided. The current operators are among the consultees.”