SOUTHAMPTON planners should be ashamed of themselves for letting this area get into such a state.

On one of our recent gloriously sunny days, having parked in Mayflower Park, I accompanied my daughter to the nearby Bugle Street Register Office to get my new grandson registered, a trip my own father made with me over 65 years ago.

On returning to the park for the obligatory hot weather ice cream, I was saddened, disappointed and somewhat disgusted by the neglected vista across Southampton Water. As you look towards Hythe all you see is the dilapidated skeleton of the once iconic Royal Pier that appears to be rapidly crumbling into the sea, a hazard to shipping in the making if it is not one already.

The sea wall beneath one’s feet is also in need of maintenance as it is infested with rats which spent the time it took to eat the ice cream scurrying along the high water mark. Not a place one would recommend visiting with a newborn.

What sort of ‘first impression’ does this give to visitors to the area and those who disembark from the 101 and 106 cruise terminals and walk past the park into our ancient city?

After decades of inaction is it not about time some investment was directed towards this neglected asset to smarten it up and bring it into the 21st century?