Last week on one of the few warm days of this summer I was cruising with a friend in my rowing boat through Millport Bay, and as we approached the Old Pier, became aware of happy groups of youngsters using the wooden pier for fishing, boating, swimming, and other healthy games. I relaxed into a dwam of nostalgia for my own childhood, spent in Millport long ago following similar pursuits. Then my eye lighted on a noticeboard which proclaimed NO MOORING. On further inspection I found there were similar notices on all three sides of the wooden pier, and I was brought back to earth with a bump. North Ayrshire Council is at it again!

To explain - the people of Millport may not be aware that our Council's forward planning includes the demolition of our wooden pier. Already maintenance has been stopped for the last three years with the inevitable weakening of the structure. Without paying attention to the views of Millportonians and regular visitors the wooden pier could be removed. Apparently the money has been earmarked already. These noticeboards are another step on the way. Perhaps next winter, damage will be done in a gale, and doubtless a consultant will be found (for a consideration) to declare the wooden pier unsafe.

Millport's wooden Old Pier is an essential asset for our town. Not only does it allow access for suitable boats and ships at all tides, but it is the only breakwater protecting the sea wall in Stuart St. Until and if the Flood Prevention Scheme is complete, it behoves North Ayrshire Council to repair and maintain our wooden pier - at the very least.

Millport - beware! We need to act now!

Alastair Chisholm BEM