South Parade Pier Trust left in chaos after top members quit the group

South Parade Pier. ''Picture: Shamus Roster,
South Parade Pier. ''Picture: Shamus Roster,
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NEARLY half of the people involved with running South Parade Trust have walked out, according to one director who quit.

Scott Mclachlan left the group last Wednesday after a row with chairman Leon Reis over how a steering group and the board work together on the trust.

Mr Mclachlan, who had left the trust on a previous occasion, said: ‘It’s been very difficult, it’s been so frustrating, we were doing so much good stuff.

‘There was a well-rounded group where previously it was just Leon doing the work.

‘The reason I came back on was all of this framework was set up.

‘For whatever reason Leon has decided to fight against that.

He added that around three volunteers had also quit.

Along with Mr Mclachlan the chief executive Howard Thompson has stepped down, effective almost immediately.

Mr Mclachlan added: ‘It’s not a case of me versus Leon.

‘I’ve tried to work with the South Parade Trust and Leon and it hasn’t worked.’

The News revealed a new consortium has taken over the pier and hopes to breathe new life into it with a huge masterplan unveiled to the public.

It includes the possibility of a mini London eye, a zipwire and opening the pier in time for the America’s Cup sailing events due to be held in the city.

Leon Reis, chairman of South Parade Trust, said all organisations have arguments.

He told The News: ‘All organisations have disagreements from time to time.

‘We are not any different from many other organisations.

‘The existing board is fully behind progressing to do the things I’ve set.’

Trust chief executive Mr Thompson last night confirmed he has also quit.

Asked if a disagreement with the chairman was the reason why he stepped down he said: ‘I wouldn’t say it’s the only one, that would be a misrepresentation.

‘But I think there’s certainly some differences of opinion.’

He added: ‘It’s time to do some different things, I’ve just bought a new house and lots of other stuff.’

The trust was set up in 2012 in a bid to safeguard the future of the pier in Southsea.