Friday, August 03, 2007

From Court action to best mates?

At the back end of last year,the council stated that it was refusing to renew Lido Leisures lease for the Redcar caravan site.Lido leisure so their,I believe, managing director Ian Mitchell told me and other people,were going to take the council to the High Court because of this.People who support the campaign in Coatham,myself included,supplied Mr Mitchell with various bits of information to assist Lido Leisures efforts in taking the council to court over this issue.I spoke to him a few times about this as did other people.
The council admitted in the press that they were not going to renew the lease and stated that they were going to take over the running of both the Redcar site and the Saltburn site themselves.This was particularly strange as the council/Persimmon in their plans have the caravan site in Redcar down as being a car park?
Why should they want to state in the press that they were going to run these two caravan sites,when one of them was an integral part of their housing scheme?

However.the high court case that was supposed to happen in January of this year,never did.A short time after, it was revealed that the council had instead actually SOLD both the caravan sites in Saltburn and Redcar to Lido Leisure? When we asked how much they were sold for we were told by the council that they would not divulge that information.We were puzzled by the fact that one minute both sides were apparantly drawing up their battle lines in the high court and then the next, they were entering into talks to sell both caravan sites to Lido Leisure without making the details public.

This was the case until last week when a source came forward from the council and showed me council documents that showed that both the caravan sites had been sold to Lido Leisure for the sum of £2.4 million pounds. Both sites combined would total in size, probably two thirds of the size of the Coatham Enclosure site,perhaps a little more and the Coatham enclosure site is supposed to be being sold for £5.6 million?

There are a few things that need to be answered here.1st is, why were to coastal sites sold for such a low amount?
2nd is, how did things go from all out action in the high court because the council refused to renew the lease holders lease, to the council selling a site that is an integral part of this development,along with another site, to the leaseholder that they were denying the renewal of the lease to?
3rd is,why werent they put out to tender?
4th is,what has been done with the £2.4 million pounds generated from the sale of both sites? In the documents that I have seen,it states that the money generated from the sale of both caravan sites was going back into the Coatham scheme so that instead of borrowing £8,000,000 the council were only going to borrow £5.6 million.However,with the £12,000,000 black hole in the budget coming to light and therefore the borrowing to prop the scheme up looking unlikely,where is this money now going to, or already gone? As we all know, the council borrowing £8,000,000 was to help provide the leisure centre and baths because no funding has been attracted.Now that borrowing anything looks unlikely and now that the baths and leisure centre have been moved back to phase two of the scheme which isnt due to begin until June 2009,what has become of, or is going to become of, the £2.4 million?

I'd like to know.Would you?

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