Portsmouth City Council announced a few weeks ago that the owners of South Parade Pier, Fred Nash and Dawn Randall, would be served with a repairs order for what The News accurately described as “the derelict attraction”. After years of inaction under Gerald Vernon-Jackson’s leadership, as criticised so often on this blog, the new regime at Portsmouth City Council has confirmed the detail of work required in a 40-page document. The full text has been published by the South Parade Trust:
The notice is issued to “The People’s Pier (Southsea) Limited” – the company owned by Fred Nash and Dawn Randall. This order applies to whoever owns the Pier, should it eventually be sold. At the date of issue the Pier has still not been purchased by the consortium, which has been telling us they are about to buy the Pier since the turn of the year. The latest update from them was that their intended November purchase would not now happen, and it would be December. On that basis, I think we all look forward to them completing the deal in the next few days and continuing with the work. The survey which provides most of the content of the order dates from 2011, reinforcing my previous suggestion that this order is something which should have been issued a long time ago. The Lib Dems owe us all an apology for letting the Pier fall into such a terrible state through their negligence.
We also know the Lib Dems proposed to squander at least £100k of our money in subsidies so that the prospective new owners can do up what they have reportedly been telling people is their “pension pot”. There is no justification for public money going into a business of that kind.
With the America’s Cup Series races taking place off Southsea next Summer, there is every incentive to the owners, whoever they are, to keep moving so that they can capitalise on this great money-spinning opportunity. We are now well out of marine engineering season as far as the Pier is concerned, and the race will be on in the New Year for whoever owns the Pier at that point to get as much of it as possible ready for visitors. Having lost almost a whole summer’s worth of working time this year while the consortium failed to complete, everyone just has to hope that last winter’s storms were a “once in a generation” kind of event. Otherwise the repair bill will go up, and bits of the Pier will keep dropping into the sea.