Concerns raised over introduction of £3 fishing fee

REOPEN South Parade Pier is open to fishermen
REOPEN South Parade Pier is open to fishermen

Weather warning issued for widespread fog across Portsmouth area

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FISHERMEN are being charged to access a section of South Parade Pier which is still considered dangerous.

Visitors with fishing rods have to pay £3 to spend the day at the back of the troubled Southsea venue.

No-one else is allowed on it because vital maintenance work still needs to be done.

Campaigners say the decision by owners Fred Nash and Dawn Randall is not wise because it doesn’t look like big improvements have been made.

The fee was introduced after the back was re-opened last month, after previously being shut for health and safety reasons.

The owners say things are better now because they’ve spent £50,000 on repair work.

But Leon Reis, chairman of The South Parade Trust, which hopes to launch a takeover, said: ‘We’re dubious about how good the repairs are.

‘It may be good enough to hold the pier up in the short-term, but they have not done anything to address the issue which is the majority of the structure underwater which needs hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pounds worth of maintenance done to it. What they have done is very poor work.

‘Our only focus at the moment is saving the pier, which is currently heading for destruction thanks to time and tide.

‘For three years, Dawn and Fred have spent zero on major structure repair work.’

Mr Nash said: ‘The pier is a dead loss.

‘We ran the fish and chip shop all of last weekend and we made no profit out of it by the time wages were paid.

‘We paid one guy £550 just to clear all the rubbish and bins.

‘It takes a lot to run the pier.

‘Every penny is being recouped into doing repairs.

‘There is no enforcement notice on the pier.

‘The responsibility is ours.

‘The council advised against 600 to 700 people in the bars jumping around – and we took that advice.

‘The back part of the pier isn’t dangerous, because work has been done on it.’

As previously reported, a rounded part of the deck, that was taken down without permission from the council, is due to be reinstated within the next few weeks.