It’s vital that people have their say on masterplan

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Have your say

It’s always good to see the first sparks of debate start to fly when an organisation such as Portsmouth City Council launches a plan for the future.

Now that details of the new seafront masterplan have been made public, it’s quite correct that people should start to have their say.

While it’s true that we elect our leaders to make decisions on our behalf, that shouldn’t stop anyone from taking an interest in what’s going on in their community and speaking out when something strikes them as right, or wrong.

Consultation is a vital cornerstone of democracy. When done properly, it can shape opinion and have a very real impact on the outcome of decisions that have the power to affect our lives.

That’s why we urge people to get involved before the September 14 deadline for comments has been and gone.

Here at The News we like to encourage healthy debate – and it’s clear that one aspect of the masterplan has already got some people thinking.

We understand where opponents of a plan to move Southsea bandstand into the Rose Garden are coming from. After all, why try and fix something that’s not broken?

As it stands, our beautiful bandstand is a focal point for music and gatherings. It’s well used with a regular programme of concerts on offer and has been the scene of some truly memorable events.

The Rose Garden is perhaps more a place for gentle contemplation, rather than rousing music, loud applause and cheers. And yet the new proposal for what would go in the bandstand’s place does hold merit. A new seating area and stage or sculpture would enhance the seafront, creating an attractive place for people to sit and enjoy the view.

Whatever the outcome of the consultation, one thing should be certain: this can’t be the end of our bandstand. If a decision is made to move this attractive piece of architecture, a suitable new home must be found.

As for the rest of the consultation process, we hope that people continue to make a real song and dance about any issues they feel strongly about.