We’re sorry but not surprised to have to report that charity fundraisers who put in hours of time and effort to help youngsters have found their efforts dealt a broadside by Portsmouth City Council’s lamentable decision to kick them off a prime piece of public land.
The organisers of the boot sale that has for long been held at Castle Field in Southsea went with dignity in their despair when the event was cruelly described as giving Southsea a feel of tattiness.
Thanks to a farmer at Horndean, they found an alternative site for the Easter weekend.
But regrettably the inaugural weekend sale failed to attract the crowds.
Just two sellers on one day and none at all the next tells its own story.
At the same time, of course, the glorious weather led to thousands of people visiting Southsea seafront, where the sale used to be held.
Think of the amount of money that has gone begging and which otherwise would have benefited sea cadets.
Pat Smith, who raises money for the Junior Cadet Corps in Denmead said she believes they lost out on hundreds of pounds for the youngsters.
It’s difficult to see why Portsmouth City Council officials have developed such a bee in their collective bonnet about the sale.
Others are still held in the city and for many people, they provide a welcome attraction – a place to meet and chat as well as to hunt out a bargain.
And boot sales are what they are – events that sometimes have an air of tattiness. There is nothing wrong with that.
If the fear is that the sales have not been properly regulated, well it is surely the job of the council to arrange that in a way that doesn’t involve cutting off a lifeline to charity.
The council says it would prefer a market-style event.
It should do whatever it takes to help the boot sale organisers bring that about and get this popular and useful event back to its traditional home at Southsea.