Southsea traders vent frustration over impact of summer events

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  • Tension at seafront forum meeting as traders vent frustration over summer events
  • Council accused of not consulting properly with businesses before closing roads to facilitate America’s Cup World Series and Victorious Festival
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SEAFRONT traders raised fresh concerns over the impact summer events have had on their businesses.

Businesses vented their frustrations at the latest Seafront Attractions and Traders Forum meeting in front of council officials.

They feel they need more consultation and certainty they will not suffer again from the road closures.

Lib Dem councillor Hugh Mason

Business owners said there was a lack of consultation over road closures put in place to facilitate Victorious Festival and the Portsmouth America’s Cup World Series.

It comes after Clarence Pier operator Gill Norman wrote to The News saying restricted access to her attraction during the sailing event caused a £25,000 slump in takings.

Blue Reef Aquarium also launched an attack on America’s Cup bosses for giving ticket holders the impression they could visit for free, despite them insisting that was never the case.

And the venue said it was one of the ‘worst affected’ during the event.

Lib Dem councillor Hugh Mason, who attended yesterday’s seafront forum meeting, said: ‘The traders are very frustrated.

‘They feel they need more consultation and certainty they will not suffer again from the road closures. I can see their point.

‘I can see how they would have suffered from road closures and signs turning people away from the seafront.

‘Southsea Common is for everyone, but that means everyone need to have access to all these things going on around the common, and that includes seafront traders.

‘They feel there has been inadequate consultation.’

The seafront forum attracted controversy recently after the city’s seafront manager, David Evans, said he was going to quit being its chairman.
In a letter to traders, Mr Evans said the forum had just become an excuse to complain about the council and no longer performed its function of lobbying councillors for changes.
He chaired yesterday’s meeting at the Queen’s Hotel, but a new chair is set to be appointed next month.
Representatives from seafront businesses including Blue Reef Aquarium, Mozzarella Joes and Clarence Pier were yesterday unavailable for comment.