Friday, 13 March 2015

City Beach

It was interesting to see the report in the Echo indicating that the current administration is seeking funding to extend the City Beach project. It included a quote from Lib Dem Graham Longley, who is the relevant cabinet holder, extolling the virtues of the current City Beach scheme and proclaiming its safety.

As the relevant cabinet member he obviously speaks on behalf of the rainbow administration and it is nice to see their apparent conversion to become supporters of this project as previously when in opposition a number of their members were prominent whingers about the scheme.

I also support a further extension although this news was in poignant contrast with the other recent article on the seafront referring to the breakdown of negotiations relating to the proposed expansion of the Sealife Centre. I was surprised that Cllr Woodley seemed happy to speak to the press trying to vindicate the actions of his Administration in failing to sign the deal.

I am not privy to the ins and outs of the negotiations but what is beyond doubt is that Stockvale Limited have, through their investment in Adventure Island and the Sealife Centre, been prepared to spend substantial sums of money to develop and enhance the attraction of our seafront. This has operated to the benefit of other businesses in the area and also the council, who have been able to herald such impressive visitor statistics. I wonder what the seafront would be like without Stockvale and its investment?

The failure to deliver a deal on an extension to the Sealife Centre is a matter for regret and rather than rushing to justify his position to the press I would have preferred Cllr Woodley and his colleagues to be concentrating on bridging the gap and brokering a deal which was acceptable to both parties. He previously said he would broker a deal between the football club/Sainsburys and Propects which he appears to have failed to do, but surely resolving a dispute whether the council is directly involved is within his power.

In the meantime investment in the infrastructure on the seafront is to be welcomed but the council must not forget that the first priority must be to ensure that there are attractions in place to tempt residents and visitors to our central seafront.

This is such an important issue I am minded to rush home to meet Mrs H in our second kitchen to discuss it in more detail. Oh hold on we don’t have a second kitchen – suppose that’s why I will never be asked to be leader of the Labour Party!


  1. If you want to be Leader of the Labour Party there is a small first step that must be taken. Let me help you ....

  2. Julian

    I know that as a Labour candidate in the General Election you must be desperate to try to put in place a credible national leader but to encourage an approach from the President of the local Conservative Association is surely a step too far!