LETTER: No novelty – it’s a way of life

I hope I can reply to two points raised by Mike Archer, of Westham, on last week’s Herald letters pages.

First, he said ‘it was a shame our pier was not retained by the community as in Hastings’.

Let me be very clear – Hastings Pier received £11.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Eastbourne Pier has not received a penny from the taxpayer.

The massive changes that I have made on the pier in the past 11 months have been funded by myself – nobody else. I ask people to please remember what state the pier was in before I purchased it. It wasn’t in a good condition, with respect.

And also I didn’t see a queue of people forming to make a bid for the site.

I absolutely love Eastbourne Pier. I am very proud and it gives me immense pleasure. It is lovely to be on there every day – sometimes four times a day – talking to people, smiling and also creating jobs and boosting the town’s economy.

So to answer Mr Archer’s second point – ‘I wonder how long it will take for the novelty to wear off’. It is not a novelty – it is now a way of life for me, it is part of my business, and I will continue to work seven days a week – for the good of the town!

Sheikh Abid Gulzar

Grand Parade

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