Portsmouth culture official hits back at negative reaction to seafront traders meeting

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TORY culture boss Linda Symes has hit back at claims there was tension at a seafront traders’ meeting.

It comes after Lib Dem Hugh Mason said there were fresh concerns during the debate about businesses losing trade during Victorious Festival and the America’s Cup World Series.

There was an agreement that they wanted to work with the council to iron out any difficulties they had perceived ahead of the next round of events on the common next summer.

Portsmouth Tory culture boss Linda Symes

Cllr Symes said the meeting at the Queens Hotel was positive and Cllr Mason was wrong to be so negative at a time when firms want to work together and with the council to improve the seafront.

She told The News: ‘It’s a shame that Cllr Mason couldn’t have reported the positive parts and give a balanced view as to what happened. There was an agreement that they wanted to work with the council to iron out any difficulties they had perceived ahead of the next round of events on the common next summer.

‘They felt a positive way to do this was to work with the council to resolve the issues that have been raised.’

Clarence Pier operator Gill Norman has already told The News how the attraction lost more than £25,000 in revenue during the America’s Cup as a result of road closures. Blue Reef Aquarium also said cup ticket holders were wrongly-led to believe they could visit for free.