Eastney Naturists

Campaigning to Save the Beach

The Agenda & Report can be viewed on Portsmouth City Council’s website – http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/yourcouncil/15736.html

Report by Barry Knell, Eastney Naturists

Councillor Vernon-Jackson stated that this item is now before the cabinet for what seemed the 85th time and invites the deputations.  Councillors agreed that an email deputation from the Eastney Naturists had been circulated amongst them.

Five deputations were heard against the motion, Barry Knell representing the Eastney Naturists, Councillor Luke Stubbs, Nigel Scarlett, Councllor Cheryl Buggy and Mark Austen.

Cllr Steve Wemyss spoke for the motion with some vigour as he said that enough time and money had been wasted on this already and it was time to get it sorted.

Mark Austen spoke vehemently against the motion and was annoyed to have been interrupted half way through his speech by Cllr Hancock. Cllr Hancock assured him that he had only interrupted in order to help him.

Cllr Hancock told the cabinet that he was not the sort of man to be bullied into a decision but regretfully he felt that this matter had gone far enough and that it had come to the cabinet too many times and no more money should be spent on this. He also stated that all affected people should be given the opportunity to view and contribute to the Deed. He once again asked the City Solicitor, Michael Lawther, what the legal situation was and whether he was absolutely certain that the council could pass this motion without detriment to itself.

Michael Lawther stated that the legal position was clear and had not changed. This appropriation of the land was only a matter of transferring it from the Planning Dept to the Highways Dept and that at all times would remain in the control of Portsmouth City Council.

Cllr Madden also agrees that this matter has come up too many times.

Cllr Fazackerley states that the situation does not seem to have changed from the meeting in May and nor has his position and therefore will continue to oppose the motion.

A vote by show of hands was called for and the motion to rescind the decision of 8th May 2009 was carried by a margin of 8 to 2. The two against the motion were Jason Fazackerley and John Ireland.

Mike’s comments:

What a shame – it seems that in order for big business to get its way, it only has to keep coming back (with or without threats of legal action).  Too many of the Councillors on the Cabinet appear (by their own remarks) to have made their decision based on this matter coming before the Cabinet too many times. 

It’d certainly be heartening to think that, as Councillor Hancock stated, “all affected people should be given the opportunity to view and contribute to the Deed”.  I wonder if that will happen – just the fact that the deed previously agreed (22 Sept 2008) by Cabinet was being quietly rewritten (without Cabinet’s knowledge it seems) causes a great deal of concern.  If the elected executive didn’t know about this, what chance do the rest of us (local residents, tax payers & voters) have?

© Eastney Naturist Beach Liaison Group- Eastney Naturists