Southport MP Damien Moore says Sefton Council has failed to address “the elephant in the room” after it launched a consultation over the future of Ainsdale-on-Sea.
The local authority has set out its vision for improving and investing in facilities at the beachfront in Ainsdale, with views sought on sites including the Sands Lake and Hotel area, Toad Hall and Ainsdale Discovery Centre.
It is also an opportunity for residents and regular beach users to offer ideas for how Ainsdale-on-Sea could be improved for all, from better traffic management to projects that would ensure Ainsdale’s rare habitats and species are able to thrive.
But Southport MP Damien Moore believes the exercise misses the one thing that could improve Ainsdale the most.
He said: “Carrying out a consultation on Ainsdale while failing to even mention the great ‘elephant in the room’ is pointless.
“The biggest blight on Ainsdale is Pontins. The holiday park is owned by Britannia, which has been voted the UK’s worst hotel operator for a record nine years in a row.
“I keep reading stories in the Liverpool ECHO and other news outlets about horrific incidents and people enduring ‘holidays from hell’ at Pontins.
“The site doesn’t just damage Ainsdale’s reputation, the constant bad publicity it generates also damages Southport’s standing as a whole and the other businesses that are trying so hard to make a living in our resort. With Britannia there, it will make it extremely hard to attract top quality investors to Ainsdale.
“Since the consultation was launched, people have been telling me their views on what they would like to see done to improve Ainsdale.
“They are pretty unanimous – Pontins, and the awful reputation it carries both here and around the country, has to go.
“It is a shame that there is no mention of Pontins in the Sefton Council consultation.”
During 2020, an extensive consultation with residents, business owners, visitors and young people took place as part of the now successful Southport Town Deal bid.
It was recognised by a large number of respondents that the beachfront at Ainsdale-on-Sea is in need of investment to improve its facilities for residents and visitors alike.
The consultation will run until 30th September 2021.
People are urged to complete the online survey on the Your Sefton Your Say portal here: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/
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