My promise as new pier owner

From: Sheikh Abid Gulzar, Grand Parade, Eastbourne

I write as the proud new owner of Hastings Pier and wish to comment on last week’s excellent coverage in the Hastings Observer.

First, I want to say how delighted I am to have bought Hastings Pier. I am 100 per cent committed to making it the success it should be, and I will work seven days a week to achieve that.

I am keen to meet with the council leader Peter Chowney once he returns from his holiday. His comments in the Observer about the sale were negative but this was more about the administrators than myself. Let me say publicly I am happy to work with Mr Chowney and Hastings Borough Council for the good of Hastings.

Rob Cane from Brede asked in last week’s letters page whether the new owner has business sense.

Let me politely reassure him that I do. Hastings Pier has to be profitable and run as a business. That is very obvious and something I fear lacking in the past.

Julia Hilton’s letter was very to the point, asking where have our politicians been in the fight to save the pier. Other people have asked me the same thing.

My answer is that what has gone on in the past has nothing to do with me. That is indeed all in the past.

D. Burton from St Leonards wrote that I must invest in the pier, and of course that must be the case. But it must be done sensibly, with thought, and for the good of the pier and the town.

Observer comment said I must keep my promise to engage with the local community. Quite right.

My record of working with charities and local people in Eastbourne is proof of that.

I will engage with the people of Hastings but let me end with one clear message:

Let’s talk up Hastings and talk up Hastings Pier.

I don’t want to hear all the moaning and negativity.

I don’t have time for that.

I have time for positive thinking, doing things, making things happen, and that is my promise to you all.