This is a phrase quoted from an excoriating article on the i360 project in this month's "What's Happening" magazine. The article is by Brighton's favourite entrepreneur Mike Holland and in it he asks, "If we have £17 million to spare, why are we closing libraries and toilets? Why are we not supporting local charities sufficiently to ensure the very vulnerable people in our society do not suffer needlessly?"
He also claims out that a sustainable replacement pier which he and his partner had offered to finance could be built for £25M, much less than the i360, but that the "huge egos within the West Pier Trust precluded that from happening".
Mr Holland provides a detailed analysis of the financial prospects for the i360 which it seems difficult to fault. He concludes that even assuming optimistic customer figures the annual running costs will exceed expenditure by over £1M.
Meanwhile, over at the Argus, a letter from Brighton Society Chairman Malcolm Dawes about the successful Saltdean Lido Campaign refers to the tenacity the campaign has had to employ in getting action from a foot-dragging Council. He refers to an earlier letter from Rebecca Crook, chair of the campaign, in which she compared the council’s offer of £14 million to the developers of the i360 with the Scrooge-like attitude of supporting the listed Saltdean Lido (Letters, May 15).
Mr Dawes says, "The main priority for the council should be ensuring the city’s existing leisure facilities are well-managed and provide a high-quality service to residents and visitors – and ensure swimming pools do not remain closed on hot sunny days.
But it seems its priority is acting as a financial backer to a speculative development.
Keeping swimming pools open seems a much better use for the council’s money in such harsh economic times."