An MP says he regrets not responding to an invite to a meeting to discuss safety measures at the Redcar Beacon.

Redcar MP Jacob Young said he was busy with Parliamentary engagements and unable to attend the meeting called by Coatham ward councillor Carl Quartermain.

Cllr Quartermain previously called for the 80ft high structure on Redcar seafront to be “locked up before someone is killed” after youths were spotted climbing over safety barriers on its viewing platform.

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The upper floor of the beacon was subsequently closed off to the public and Redcar and Cleveland Council has said it is working on a solution with architects so it can re-open.

Cllr Quartermain said he was annoyed that Mr Young did not reply to his invite since his attendance had been specifically requested by the owners of a café and bar that operates on the ground floor.

The Northern Echo: Children climbing over the safety rails at Redcar Beacon Children climbing over the safety rails at Redcar Beacon

Local businesses have complained about children throwing missiles, while there have been reports of criminal damage in the lifts at the Beacon and even fires being set in toilets.

Mr Young said: “I am gravely concerned about the safety issues regarding the Beacon.

“Due to Parliamentary commitments, I was in Westminster at the time of Cllr Quartermain’s proposed meeting to discuss the issue.

“Had I been available I would, of course, have attended.

“During a busy week, I regret not having responded to him promptly.

“That said, I support any remedies that can be enacted to prevent young people, or anyone else for that matter, from dangerously climbing the beacon, putting themselves at risk of serious injury, or even death.

“I thank Cllr Quartermain for bringing this serious matter before the council leadership, which is the proper channel for dealing with this matter.”

Cllr Quartermain met with council leader Mary Lanigan to discuss matters and has asked for a meeting with relevant executive officers at the local authority.

He has suggested the viewing platform at the Beacon should only be able to be accessed via a redeemable token, or some other method.

Cllr Quartermain has claimed security was previously removed from the structure by the council.

The Northern Echo:

He also said the Beacon – which was previously known as the ‘vertical pier’ before a name change – looks “dirty, rusty and unkempt like an industrial building” and needs a clean and re-spray.

A spokesman for the council said: “The viewing platform has remained closed off to the general public to prevent anyone else copying high risk anti-social behaviour.  

“Progress is being made with the architects to agree a suitable solution which will allow the Beacon viewing platform to reopen, whilst at the same time ensuring residents and visitors to Redcar remain safe.”

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The Beacon cost about £1.8m to build and opened to the public in March 2013.

It has seven floors and 132 steps with four floors of business space and a ‘sky lounge’ for meetings and events, which also has a licence for marriage ceremonies. 

The top floor – the viewing balcony – is an open roof terrace and offers 360 degree views over Redcar and the seafront.

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