SKIPP press release (24-03-2013) Pier needs a pub
Southend Pier, our town’s crowning glory, the one thing that we are world famous for, yet it is sadly neglected by the very people that we have entrusted its future to, Southend Borough Council.
True they have created the new Royal Pavilion and true, visitor numbers have increased since it opened and Jamie Oliver arrived, however, what have the council done in recent years to attract external commercial investment. Well the answer is the council and its cultural bosses have done nothing for over seven years.
Frankly we were shocked when we found this out. They told us that they are open to any company that wants to invest; however, they admit that they have invested no time or money into finding commercial investors since 2006/7. What is going on at the council? Do they really think that investment is just going to drop into their lap? This is like a business setting up a company but not bothering to advertise and then complaining that they have no customers.
During meetings with councillors and council officers to discuss the pier we have made suggestions for improvements that we are happy to leave in the hands of the relevant officers. However, it has become clear that despite the best efforts of officers they have been let down by the councillor in charge.
It seems clear to us that Cllr Jarvis is unable or maybe incapable of the vitally important task of seeking the investment that the pier needs for the future. Therefore, SKIPP has decided to help.
Starting with the pub chains, SKIPP has begun approaching potential commercial investors asking them to consider investing in the pier, which is crying out for a decent pub.
It is ironic that the outgoing council leader, Nigel Holdcroft, has accused the opposition groups of wishing to see “stagnation-on-sea” when the man appointed by him to over see Southend’s cultural developmenthas decided by his inaction to allow the single most important component of his portfolio to stagnate.
There are creative, dynamic organisations out there and our pier needs the revitalisation they can bring.
The SKIPP Committee
Mark Sharp (Ind Candidate for Milton Ward)