Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just one big con.

Last night whilst trawling through some documents, I came across a couple of beauties! Firstly, was a Glossy “Fact or Myth” letter released last year by Vera Moody, anyone remember her? The very first ‘fact’ that she puts forward is that the council do have the funding for the leisure. She goes on to list what ‘funding’ is in place. Firstly, she says that the council have secured fourteen million pounds in funding! Two and a half million pounds more than what they need, she goes onto say that this has come from Sport England, the capital receipt from Persimmon and prudential borrowing.

What is significant, now that we know that there is no 106 agreement in place between the council and Persimmon tying Persimmon to providing any leisure, is that in this list of secured funding for what she calls the “leisure element”, Persimmon aren’t down for providing any grant funding for the “leisure element” at all. Oh yes, they are giving a capital receipt of what we know to be the grossly under valued figure of £5,600,000, but when you take into consideration that in return for this money they will be getting 35 acres of OUR coastal land you can hardly consider it to be grant funding can you? I mean they are getting something back for the money, namely our coastline. The fact that they aren’t actually funding or providing any leisure in the scheme at all is even more significant when you take into consideration that since our campaign began the council and Persimmon have been telling the public of this borough that Persimmon were providing the leisure? They even said it at the Coatham Planning meeting. We have the minutes of the meeting. So now we have it, the councils and Persimmons’ idea of Persimmon providing leisure in the scheme, is Persimmon entering into a deal to buy our coastline!

Their play on words is amazing! They aren’t funding, or providing anything. They are buying our land, that’s it. Look at the rest of the list. Vera Moody mentions a grant from sport England, how much was that? Just half a million pounds and then she mentions PRUDENTIAL BORROWING. How much were they going to borrow? EIGHT MILLION POUNDS! The council were going to fund their “leisure element” of the scheme by borrowing money and raising our council tax, something that they said they could never do. How many times have you heard them say we need to have the houses to have the leisure? Well… the plain fact is that when Persimmon aren’t providing any funding and when providing leisure is based purely on borrowing money and raising council tax, WE DON’T. Be under no illusions. The money that Persimmon are buying the land for, would be spent on providing new roads, junctions, new classrooms etc. It was the eight million pounds and in effect, THE COUNCIL TAX PAYERS OF THIS BOROUGH, that was providing the pool and leisure centre, not Persimmon homes.

The Council and Persimmon have very cleverly, and very cynically, conned the public of this borough, by playing with words. The biggest con of all is their use of the term ‘leisure’. They build up this image in peoples minds of all these leisure amenities being built in Coatham, a visitor centre with performing arts space and interpretation centre and dance floor, an extreme sports village, a single screen cinema, a bowling alley, a pub. Yet when it all comes down to it, what the council have really meant when it has spoken of providing the leisure element, is an ordinary pool and leisure centre that you could find anywhere. They don’t tell you that all the other marvelous leisure elements of the scheme are dependant on private funding and private companies becoming involved and that they have absolutely no private money or interest ASWEL as no public money or interest, at all. They use the word ‘leisure’ after putting forward all the things listed above to the public, but in truth they have only been referring to one small part of it, the leisure centre and pool, that the public are paying for anyway because the money to provide it is being borrowed and we have to pay it back through our council tax.

It really is time for people to wake up to the way that they have been manipulated by a very clever and very uncaring money making machine like Persimmon homes, who have been aided every step of the way by our council.
The ironic thing is that with the council now having a twelve million pound black hole in its budget, even borrowing money to fund the new leisure centre and pool is a non starter, which is obviously why in their "people, pride and passion" magazine,they state that they have moved the building of "the leisure element" (just the pool and leisure centre) from phase one of the development where it has always been,back to phase two of the development which isnt supposed to begin construction until June 2009!

Don’t let them get away with it. The council, Persimmon, or the officers.Is it any wonder with facts like these now being proven, that six council officers all of whom have been directly involved with this mess, have either left are trying to get out or have been suspended.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?