I have on many occasions in the past supported the activities of Abid Gulzar – especially in relation to the farm project. This time I feel obliged to tell him that he is out of order. The Eastbourne Pier has always been freely available to all residents and non-residents including a vast number of tourists and the fact that he is now the owner must make no difference. There have always been certain facilities/ activities for which people were charged should they have opted to enjoy these. Equally, an area for teas, coffees and other refreshments has also been available – if required.
Now Mr Gulzar indicates that he is thinking of making a £2 admission charge to gain access to the pier. Is this simply to allow visitors to walk around the pier? Oh no, he adds that they might get a tea or coffee for this sum! This is a specious argument. Should he be finding that he has insufficient funds to provide the number of attractions which he would like to see on the pier, then he must wait until sufficient profits are generated to allow the overall project to expand when it is in a stronger financial position.
Until that stage is reached, Mr Gulzar, don’t even think of soaking ordinary families. It is not warranted and is an idea that should be thrown out to sea from the furthest end of the pier. The visiting members of the public will perfectly satisfied to see that the pier is once again operative – regardless of glitzy trimmings.
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