Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just which one is the truth?

When the scheme in Coatham first hit the publics awareness, the cost of it was supposed to be £55,000,000. Over the three years that this campaign has been going it has gone from £55,000,000 to £80,000,000 to £88,000,000 to £90,000,000 to £92,000,000 to, as was last reported just a couple of months ago in the Summer edition of the "Peoples, Pride and Progress" magazine, £95,000,000!

So how is it that now then, in briefing papers for next weeks cabinet meeting, the officers are telling the cabinet that the cost of the scheme is now back down to £80,000,000 just two months after they told the public it was a £95,000,000 scheme?

But the backtracking doesn’t stop there. In that Summer edition of the “Peoples, Pride and Passion” magazine, it clearly states that the building of the leisure was now part of the second phase of the development. This has been backed up by people who have children in the nursery behind the Coatham Bowl being told that it is closing and that it wouldn’t be replaced until the new one is built and that wouldn't be for a while because it is part of phase two of the scheme, ( see the posting about the nursery closing and the link to the Gazettes TS10 column ).
Yet in these cabinet briefing documents, the officers are telling the members that the leisure centre/pool is still in phase one?

It doesn’t stop there. In August last year, the council stated in the press that they were borrowing £8,000,000 to prop up the leisure side of the scheme. In May this year I saw confidential cabinet documents which not only showed how worried the council were about a second village green application being submitted now that the law has changed in our favour, they also showed that instead of the council borrowing £8,000,000 to prop the leisure side of the scheme up, they were now going to borrow £5,600,000 and add to it £2,400,000 from the sale of both the caravan sites in Redcar and Saltburn to the company that they were supposed to be facing in the high court in January this year over the councils refusal to renew their lease, Lido Leisure.

So, borrowing to help this scheme when we started this campaign in 2004 was planned at £3,000,000. Then in 2006 it rose to a whopping £8,000,000. Then this May it fell to £5,600,000 but in the cabinet briefing papers that I have a copy of for next weeks meeting, just two months after the figure fell, according to the officers, the borrowing has now risen to an enormous £10,400,000!!! And this comes just a couple of months after the council announced a £12,000,000 hole in its budget and that they were going to have to sell off assets to get the money back in! Most incredible of all is that in these briefing papers, it says they have over £9,000,000 of funding from English Partnerships. But this council have already stated in the press that they have had NO support financially or otherwise from any local government body!

If anyone from the council would like to tell the people of this town the truth it would be more than welcome. There are so many contradictions, untruths and conflicting figures, that I honestly don’t think that they have a clue what they are doing.

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