Double page feature on ‘Whitby Pier Repairs’ in Whitby Gazette

A double page feature article appeared in last week’s Whitby Gazette

“Whitby Pier repairs: what do we know?

Your Gazette probes the issue that could affect us all…

It’s one of the biggest issues in Whitby, and one that could have catastrophic consequences – the condition of Whitby’s piers.

In this special feature article, the Whitby Gazette brings you the latest on what we know to date about the crumbling listed structures.

Planning permission to repair the flood defences, which date back to the 18th Century, was granted in December, but fresh doubt lingers over whether the project will go ahead, with funding bids still up in the air.

When pressed by the Gazette over funding concerns, Scarborough Council cabinet portfolio holder for Harbours and Flood protection, Cllr Mike Cockerill, said: ‘We don’t know if we have enough. We should know by the end of March if we have enough or not.

‘Everything is designed but we are waiting on the decisions of a number of funding bodies and external agencies. We are totally in the hands of the external agencies.’ When asked if he could reassure the thousands of Whitby people who are concerned about the state of the structures, he added: ‘All I can say is Mother Nature has done its worst, and they are still standing. I am not saying there isn’t any deterioration, but there is nothing to suggest that they are going to fall down in the short term.’

One group which has been highlighting the condition of the piers and calling for action for a number of years, is Fight4Whitby. Committee member, John Freeman, said: ‘If the council was using the harbour income to look after the harbour properly, they would have all the funds they need to do the job and it would not have got into the state it is now.

‘They still can’t find the funding for it, yet they can find money to dredge the lake in Peasholm Park in Scarborough. It just rubs salt in the wound. The granting of planning permission is only smoke and mirrors from Scarborough Council, to say ‘Look we are doing something…’ ”

With acknowledgements and thanks to the Editor, Whitby Gazette, published 23 Feb 2018.

This double page feature article will be continued…

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