Council save the pier? Now that’s just plain ludicrous

A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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I know it’s not cool to side with one’s local authority, but I actually feel sympathetic towards its plight.

Over the past few weeks, you can’t fail to have noticed the energy and enthusiasm around the supposed salvage of South Parade Pier.

People have been jumping up and down about its iconic status to the city and how the council should be doing more to help orchestrate its resurrection.

If you’ve not looked at the pier recently, it’s worth a peek. To me it’s a dangerous, corroded eyesore, a rusty limb reaching out into the Solent.

My experience in structural engineering begins and ends with Lego, but associates of mine have talked about millions, even tens of millions of pounds to get the pier sound and up together.

Let’s be honest, it’s been pretty hideous for years. The major attractions? An ancient arcade with sticky carpets, a shop that sells overpriced tat and a bar-cum-nightclub-cum jumble-sale arena that was last painted when The Beatles ripped it up in 1964.

The pier is nice to look at and is symbolic of glorious times at a seaside town from another age.

But the truth is that it hasn’t been loved or given back enough love in the past three decades.

As for comments about the local authority stepping in, that’s just plain ludicrous.

Look around. We’re nervously emerging from the greatest economic downturn in history – we’re in our sixth year now.

Social services have been slashed, public facilities have been downgraded and even ‘trivial’ matters like flower beds and grassy areas are being left to go ‘wild’.

With the rain we’ve had, we’d all be wise to invest in a scythe this summer.

There would be a revolution on the streets if Portsmouth City Council scaled back healthcare in the city, but found the cash to facilitate the re-introduction of tuppenny nudgers on the pier.

Southsea is the most beautiful part of the city and is crying out for regeneration.

But spending money on the pier would be like trying to patch up a decrepit old bucket when all you have left is the handle.