Brighton bum baring protest aimed at council

By Shelley Robinson

Pier Side Cafe employees and New Brighton residents are busy practising for the Bare Your Bum for Brighton protest. Photo / Geoff Sloan
Pier Side Cafe employees and New Brighton residents are busy practising for the Bare Your Bum for Brighton protest. Photo / Geoff Sloan

A protest called Bare Your Bum for Brighton has been organised by a fed-up Christchurch businessman who says the city council has neglected the beachside suburb for too long.

Pier Side Cafe owner Tony Brooks organised the tongue-in-cheek protest and it's become the talk of New Brighton.

"There is a buzz amongst the community - it's become a real talking point," he said.

But underlying the protest is a serious message.

"The essence of the protest is that council has failed to address the needs of the hardest hit suburbs after the earthquakes - Brighton has literally been stepped over since the earthquakes," Mr Brooks said.

"The hardest hit people should be helped first but in reality they have been helped the least," he said.

Mr Brooks said the area was affected by the recession and then the earthquakes.

"New Brighton has already missed the boat. The council rezoned Brighton for landlords and was on the verge of exploding and being renewed - then the global crisis hit and the landlords withdrew. Not only did landlords leave but then we got hit with the earthquakes and the council hasn't given us a foothold to stand on since," said Mr Brooks.

New Brighton Mall shop owner Nick Mooney said he was participating because he was tired of broken glass on the beach entrances and graffiti not being cleaned up despite his calls to the city council.

"Bob Parker needs to wander around in bare feet on the beach entrance way and we can sit down and pick out the broken glass from his feet and have a natter," he said.

City councillor Glenn Livingstone, who represents the Burwood-Pegasus ward, said he was too shy to join in the protest but agreed that New Brighton was down the list of priorities for city councillors.

"I'd say it's about two-thirds down the list," he said.

"There is prejudice from a couple of city councillors that the east is going downhill and why should we resource that," he said.

- CHRISTCHURCH STAR

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