Taxpayers’ money should be better looked after

Iqra Saied, 13, wears an Ariana Grande t-shirt as she looks at flowers outside Manchester Town Hall

LESLEY KEATING: We must stop giving these ‘cockroaches’ any credence

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We’ve been down this road before.

Each time there’s hope better times are ahead for the Pyramids, more criticism comes its way to fuel the arguments of those who say it should have been torn down years ago.

This time it’s the ongoing wait for work to be done on the Southsea venue to prevent it from storm damage.

It comes after the Pyramids was severely damaged last year by floods.

Portsmouth City Council, which owns the building, spent £100,000 making repairs and a further whopping £997,000 on an upgrade programme to give the often-criticised venue a new lease of life.

A year on, however, those flood defences are still not in place, sparking fears the building has been left vulnerable once again.

Compared to problems it has had to overcome in recent years, it is hoped this latest obstacle will not be an issue for long.

From dwindling users of the facility, to Legionella bacteria being detected in its water system, the Pyramids has certainly got through worse.

The council insists ‘bespoke’ defences will be fitted soon once parts are delivered.

And there is also the positive news from BH Live, which took over the running of the facility in 2013, that membership numbers have risen to nearly 2,000 since its reopening.

But critics are right to hit out at the long wait for flood defences to be put in place after the vast sums of taxpayers’ money being spent to improve the site.

At a time when Portsmouth City Council is having to make further cuts following a drop in funding from central government, committing funds to the Pyramids and then leaving it susceptible to more damage does indeed seem a ‘farce’, as Councillor John Ferrett puts it on page seven today.

We remain a supporter of the Pyramids and hope success is ahead.

But after all the issues of the past, greater efforts are needed by its owners to ensure it does not keep being put in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

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