One-off event is a welcome step in right direction

Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

Keep children safe – but beware the nanny state

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Have your say

It’s always good to see a bit of people power in action.

All those who put their names to a petition calling for a return of car boot sales to Southsea seafront will be delighted to hear a one-off trial will take place at the weekend.

They could have stood by and complained in private, but more than 1,000 people felt strongly enough about this issue to campaign for a change and their efforts have now been rewarded.

While it’s still too early to say whether there will be a complete U-turn on an earlier decision to ban this kind of event from Southsea, this latest development is certainly a step in the right direction.

The MOD’s decision to halt this kind of sale followed a similar move from the city council. Many people were quite rightly upset when the council declared car boot sales were too ‘downmarket’ for Southsea Common. While the kind of goods on offer aren’t to everyone’s taste, that doesn’t mean we should dismiss this kind of activity altogether.

Lots of shoppers enjoy getting up early to have a hunt for boot sale bargains, while plenty of sellers reap the benefits of getting rid of unwanted items.

These events have also raised money for good causes in the past and undoubtedly help to lure people into the area – a fact this city simply can’t afford to be sniffy about at the moment.

Enticing people to visit our seafront has never been more important. Strategy plans unveiled recently show that it’s a key area of concern for the council and business leaders.

Bearing in mind the latest twist in the South Parade Pier saga, it’s vital we do as much as possible to attract people to the seafront in the future.

Making wide-sweeping judgments about the value of car boot sales won’t encourage visitors and residents to make the most of the area around Castle Field.

Surely there’s room for all kinds of events aimed at appealing to the widest variety of people?

We urge the MOD and the council to listen to what’s being said. As a city, our priority should be drawing in the crowds, not pushing people away.