Anger during surprise meeting over Gorleston pier car park
PUBLISHED: 17:35 04 August 2011 | UPDATED: 17:47 04 August 2011
Â©Mike Page, All Rights Reserved
FRUSTRATION surrounding Gorleston Pier parking came to a head yesterday when dozens of people vented their anger at Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis during a surprise public meeting.
"What we need to do now is to get the people a meeting with the council because they feel strongly and they have a right to have their say. "
More than 50 people packed into a function room at the Gorleston Pier Hotel to speak their mind about the state of the car park, which cannot be accessed by cars and has fallen into disrepair.
Anger was also directed at the impact of the Outer Harbour, the lack of a ferry service and the need to have the Great Yarmouth to Gorleston pier bus service reinstated.
The Yarmouth MP, who only became aware of the number of protesters moments before the meeting took place, was met by heckles and disapproval when answering questions, despite delivering the news that £80,000 is currently being spent by EastPort on improving South Pier.
Work has been carried out on repainting a concrete shelter, repairing and treating the car park fence, providing a new fence on the open side of the car park, installing new gates on the pier, as well as installing two sections of fencing to be used as windbreakers.
Meanwhile, assurances were also made that the replacement of railings, reconcreting in the area and the installation of four new seats is to be carried within a month.
The MP also said he would make inquiries to see if the car park could be put back into public use.
The meeting, which took place at 11am, was fraught with anger as people rose from their seats to make their point to Mr Lewis, who was often interrupted.
The MP said he believed the meeting was only going to be between himself, John Cooper and local historian Dennis Durrant.
However, he did not shy away from the prospect of having a public meeting in the future, and has agreed to organise one soon.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lewis said: “In terms of the public meeting, it was good to see a lot of people with strong views.
“What we need to do now is to get them a meeting with the council because people feel strongly and they have a right to have their say.
“I will approach EastPort to look at opening the car park to the public in the short term.
“Some people in the meeting were basing their comment on false information. That is why it is important that EastPort keep the public as well informed as possible.”
Meanwhile, John Cooper believes the meeting was a success. He said: “I was over the moon with the number of people who turned up and who made very good points.”
However, Mr Cooper said that he was sceptical as to whether or not the MP would deliver on his comments.