Editor speaks out on Whitby piers fiasco

w093817s''Aerial Whitby
w093817s''Aerial Whitby

IT is still hard to believe Whitby’s west pier extension is out of action.

The town’s iconic piers are famous throughout the world and through comments on our website, through Facebook and Twitter, and in our mailbag, it is obvious how important the structures are to our readers and to the thousands of visitors who come to the town every year.

While no-one can argue we are living in tough financial times, we can also argue that the piers have long been neglected by Scarborough Borough Council.

We all, as well as the council, service anything from our cars, lorries and photocopiers to boilers, cookers and computers.

Surely, some sort of regular service or survey work should have shown up any problems with something as important as the bridge to the west pier extension.

And it still seems a little convenient to me that the closure has taken place after the kids have gone back to school, marking the end of the hectic summer season.

It is already bad enough that the town has been waiting for the bridge to the east pier to be rebuilt since 2001.

SBC does come in for much criticism, not only from within the pages of the Whitby Gazette, but from people from throughout Whitby and district.

Some of this criticism is well founded, some of it is not.

But SBC has to be taken to task on its failure on our piers, no question.

Tourism has made millions for SBC over the years and, arguably, not enough of this wealth has been ploughed back in to Whitby, let alone our villages from Ravenscar all the way up to Staithes.

We won’t go over the old ground of the millions of pounds to build the fiasco that was Scarborough’s sea defences.

Or the whopping £6m plus to refurbish Scarborough’s Spa.

All we ask is a fair share of the money generated by our hard-working and innovative businesses

Whitby deserves better.

Work will no doubt be expensive to have access to both pier extensions again.

That’s not our problem.

The people holding the purse strings at SBC must think of a way to ensure this happens – and fast.

They are well paid to act as the keepers of our great town.

They serve every one of us – the taxpayer.

Let’s get cracking on this pier work instead of talking about it and making excuses about there being no money to do it.

Or whose fault it is.

Closed piers is hardly a great advert for the town.

Some cynics may even suggest it is all part of Scarborough’s grand plan to ensure holidaymakers make the 20-mile trip down the road instead to, and I quote, Europe’s Most Enterprising Place – winner 2009, aka International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) – Project of the Year Award 2009 aka Academy of Urbanism – The Great Town – winner 2010.

So come on SBC show Whitby’s cynics wrong.

We might not have all these fancy awards like Scarborough.

Then again we don’t need them – we just need our slice of the pie to ensure Whitby remains the jewel of the Yorkshire coast.

It’s not too much to ask is it?

Jon Stokoe


Email: jonathan.stokoe@yrnltd.co.uk

* Why not join our Protect Our Piers campaign today.

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