The Labour Group has accused the Conservative Council Leader of taking the Council for granted and being premature with his statement saying “there’s an agreement that the Futurist will be demolished”.
The Labour Group has also reminded the Leader of his promise that before a ‘crunch’ January decision, councillors would have enough information and time to allow them and their constituents to fully consider the Futurist site redevelopment proposals.
There has been no Council decision to demolish the Futurist- there was a decision to budget ‘£4 million for the Futurist redevelopment’.
Councillor Bastiman can’t take January’s Council or its vote for granted. Like most people in the Borough, the Labour Group is not clear what is best or achievable. We need to see the full proposal for this redevelopment and what else it leads to, and fully scrutinise it before we decide to support or oppose it. As important as the demolition decision is, there are even bigger implications. Scarborough taxpayers need assurance that their investment is not just the start of another expensive project that brings little return to the Borough or its people.
Key Council funding from central government is disappearing over the next four years. Without pertinent questioning of every spending decision together with innovative thinking about future projects, the Borough and the council taxpayer will suffer. The old methods won’t work, we can’t afford any mistakes.
Scarborough, Whitby and Filey’s coast, their Town Centres and their Harbours are our key assets. Decision making on their future, at the last minute and after eleventh hour proposals, a common Scarborough Borough practice, is now unacceptable, as is bluster and coercion.
I suggested to the Council Leader at the last Council that the public’s confidence in this project depends on openness, timely information and proper scrutiny of this proposal. Despite his assurance then, his new statement suggests a return to old, closed and unacceptable decision making.
We warn, without timely and full open information and debate, the Labour Group will not be in a position to support a proposal. Last February the £4m budget for redevelopment was only supported by the Conservatives and their two supporting “independent” Cabinet members, the rest of the Council voted against. We understand several Conservative Group members share our concerns about the decision we have to take on January 9th.