On Wednesday evening the council submitted a report regarding the controversial decision to ban winter parking on Ainsdale Beach.

I was appalled by this report and believe it is an insult to the people of Ainsdale who worked very hard to keep the beach open.

The report is based on the three issues.

Management of vehicle parking. Budget cuts & conservation of birds.

I believe that all of these are excuses surrounding the council’s plans to turn Southports shoreline into a nature reserve.

First of all there has never been any formal council or police plan regarding winter beach parking. The police have stated that incidents of anti social behavior involving cars has fallen year on year.

Secondly budget cuts. Although I fully understand that Coast and Countryside have suffered substantial financial pressure. They have never formally controlled the beach in the winter so where is the cost? In fact the only cost I can see is the purchase of big steal gates to block the beach entrance.

Last of all conservation of birds. Well vehicles have been using the beach 24/7 for over 100 years. In the past the whole beach was available for everyone and was in massively greater use by the public than today. Did the birds all disappear? Of course not. There are as many birds now as there have always been in fact probably more with the introduction of the wetlands at the North end.

We have also been told that Conservation and Environmental law outweighs leisure.

This may be so but consider this. Nobody has been banging on Seftons door telling them they they are breaching any laws. These are just excuses that the council hide behind to get their way.

If only the council could see that Southport is first and foremost a seaside resort.
The decline of our shopping centre can be tracked alongside the decline of the beach.

If we want to re invent Southport as a tourist destination we need to think about improving beach access. Not closing it down

Cllr Ted Hartill


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