Letters: Aggressive and intransigent leadership

The current Futurist dispute must be quickly resolved.
The current Futurist dispute must be quickly resolved.

I fully support the aims of the Save the Futurist group, and would like to see this great historical building restored and brought back into use.

However, I must express my concerns about Scarborough Council’s total antagonism against any suggestions being made to make this happen, and seemingly that the decision to demolish was agreed in 2014.

There is now a massive war of words being put out on social media in an attempt to get the borough councillors to challenge this and overturn that decision.

Unfortunately some of the statements about this are getting to the stage where it is becoming an embarrassment to the town, and therefore its reputation as a top-class holiday resort.

The council has appeared in the Private Eye Rotten Boroughs national spotlight, and Derek Bastiman (council leader) is, rightly in my view, being criticised locally for an intransigent and aggressive attitude.

He appears to be adamant that it will be demolished and the site sold to Flamingo Land along with part of the historic gardens, and build a monstrous looking (according to drawings I have seen) fun park. Surely with Olympia, Lunar Park, and all the arcades in between, we have enough of this type of entertainment.

It is being touted that it will cost £5m to demolish the building and shore up the cliff so properties on Blands Cliff don’t collapse, but it would only cost £4m to restore it to a working theatre.

When I read about the media stars performing at the revamped Bridlington Spa theatre, I firmly believe that Scarborough would be more than able to attract all year round events, benefiting the local economy.

As regards the council’s responses to the Save group, I am beginning to wonder if our council chief executive Jim Dillon is still in employment as I have not seen a single word from him in support of councillors or officers or about the way the current dispute is developing to the detriment of the organisation.

I presume he must sit in his ivory tower counting out his £100,000-plus a year salary, to avoid putting his head above the parapet and getting involved.

But this dispute must be quickly resolved as the bitterness it is causing can only bring lasting damage to the reputation of the town and this council.

I can only hope that if, as promised, the final decision will be put to a full council meeting, our elected officials will remember that there are now thousands of voters who have clearly expressed their feelings, and who will be asked to vote them back into office in the future.

RM Hird

Trinity Gardens

Scarborough