Hastings Pier ‘belongs to our town’ – Amber Rudd MP
Hastings Pier ‘belongs to our town and we must always remember that’, according to Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd.
The Hastings and Rye MP wrote the statement in an open letter to constituents following news Hastings Pier may be closed over Easter.
The pier was closed in December 2018 for three months to allow time for essential repairs to be carried out.
However, earlier this week, a spokesman said the reopening has been delayed for a few weeks due to structural damage.
In her letter to constituents, Ms Rudd said: “Like you, I am incredibly disappointed that Hastings Pier would not be open for the end of March as originally planned.
“It is unacceptable if the pier remains closed indefinitely and I cannot support any scenario where this is the case.
“Following discussions with the pier owner, I understand the extended closure comes as a result of fresh structural damage. Further repairs are now, as I understand, being conducted.
“In those discussions I have been assured that the pier will be open at the start of May for the Pier Jam event.
“Nonetheless, these assurances must be backed up with actions.
“I urge the owner of Hastings Pier to conduct these repairs as a priority so that the pier may open as soon as possible. Our town cannot keep experiencing delay after delay.
“There must also be much improved communication with the Hastings communication from the owner. The pier belongs to our town and we must always remember that.
“Ultimately what we all want is for residents to be able to enjoy this impressive landmark of our town.
“I look forward to this happening.”
Hastings Pier staff said the attraction would remain closed for a few more weeks after structural damage was reported to Hastings Borough Council.
However, a spokesman for the council denied asking pier staff to keep the popular attraction closed.
They added: “The pier’s Facebook post appears to suggest that we have asked/required them to close, but that is not the case.
“We simply passed on a comment from a member of the public to the pier management, and also another Facebook link showing the damage which had also been brought to our attention, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/464187234015622/ as this showed the apparent damage.
“Obviously we are disappointed that the pier is still closed, and will remain closed over Easter.
“We have always said that safety is paramount. We hope that the pier’s engineers are able to make an assessment of the damage, and how serious it is, as soon as possible, so that they can then make the necessary repairs to reopen it again.”
Pier staff said it will be open for Pier Jam in May 2019.