MP: Weston needs Birnbeck progress
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 June 2015
WESTON’S MP John Penrose has urged the owner of Birnbeck Pier, Wahid Samady, to ‘get on and do something’ or risk the crumbling heritage site being lost forever.
According to Mr Penrose, Weston is in need of ‘progress’ regarding the Victorian structure, which is feared to be close to collapse.
Mr Penrose said: “We are one big storm away from what’s left being swept away for good.
“The town needs progress. Mr Samady needs to get on with the job, or step aside and let someone who will do it take over.”
Mr Penrose was speaking at a meeting with the newly-reformed Birnbeck Regeneration Trust at the Pier View information centre.
It was confirmed during the meeting that the trust will meet Mr Samady on June 19 to discuss the pier’s fate.
The trust will also meet representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund on July 2, when it is hoped millions of pounds in funding for Birnbeck’s restoration could be secured.
Mr Penrose added: “I’m sure I speak for the whole town when I say I wish the trust well in this meeting.
“I’m really happy to see such big community support for Birnbeck – she’s a grand old lady who is part of Weston’s heritage.
“The crucial thing everyone wants is to secure a sustainable future for the pier, and I am happy to help in any way I can.
“I am sure the whole town hopes we have a great alternative in the trust, and we can only hope Mr Samady will either get on with it or allow this alternative group to progress with things.”
Pier trustee and North Somerset councillor Richard Nightingale praised Mr Penrose’s involvement.
Mr Nightingale said: “I am really glad Mr Penrose has agreed to ramp up pressure on the pier’s private owners – I for one am glad of his involvement and interest, and appreciate his support.
“I have also instigated a meeting between the trust and North Somerset Council, which is happy to offer advice and assistance.
“However, I would also like to ask Mr Samady, on behalf of North Somerset residents, why he continues to let this important structure deteriorate.”