“IT’S time to say sorry to the people of Bournemouth.”

That’s the view of Labour councillor and surf reef opponent Ben Grower who has urged council officers and supporters of the reef to cut their losses and dismantle it.

News of the demise of controversial surf reef company ASR, which has gone into liquidation, came as no surprise to Cllr Grower and others who have voiced strong opposition to the multi-million-pound structure from the beginning.

“The sensible thing would be for the council to come out of its permanent state of denial over the whole project and finally admit it was a mistake” he said.

“The only sensible thing is to demolish it. It would appear that everybody in Bournemouth knows it is a disaster except some of the councillors and the officers.

“It’s time for them to say ‘we are sorry we wasted your money’.”

Cllr Grower said he believes the council was poorly advised by officers when it agreed to go ahead with the reef and said it should be removed as soon as possible.

He also said damage caused by a boat propeller is a “red herring” and said the reef has never been effective.

He added: “It took 10 years for them to decide to demolish the Imax so I hope it doesn’t take as long with the surf reef.”

Former Southbourne councillor Basil Ratcliffe was also a fierce opponent of the reef and said the scheme was forced through by a small group of supporters.

“They were either poorly educated and advised or stupid.

“They made claims that the reef would attract national and international competitions and those claims were not true – I couldn’t get through to those people,” he said.

“I always said that it would not work because of where it was and how it was made.”