Whitby Town Councillors ask for public meeting over £17.1m Town Deal cash

Some Whitby Town Councillors have called for a public meeting to be held with representatives of Scarborough Council over the spending of £17.1m of Town Deal Funding approved by the Government.

By Louise Perrin
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2022, 11:18 am

It was confirmed last month that Whitby would receive the money from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for four projects, the largest being £10m for a Maritime Hub to be built on Endeavour Wharf overlooking the town’s harbour.

Money has also been allocated for redevelopment of the old town hall and market place in the historic Church Street area.

Councillors attended an extraordinary meeting on May 31 to discuss the projects but some said they had not seen the business cases and needed more details.

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Old Town Hall, Whitby.

But Scarborough Borough Council has this week said that the Town Deal process in both Whitby and Scarborough has been the subject of extensive public consultation.

Whitby Town Council Clerk Michael King said: “At the meeting there was the general feeling, especially from some newer members of the town council, that they didn’t know exactly what was proposed or how it was proposed and that they wanted to take a breath and assess progress going forward.

“There has been extensive consultation with external events and consultation with groups on the 2020 town investment plan which was submitted to the Government and again in the second order of the consultation.”

A presentation about the way the Town Deal Funding will be spent was held in the undercroft of the Town Hall last week and there is a static presentation in Whitby Coliseum which offers a period of engagement until June 15.

A statement issued by Scarborough Borough Council this week read: “The government has approved the business cases for all the projects.

“The council’s submissions have been closely scrutinised by expert civil servants.

“The Town Deal process in both Whitby and Scarborough has been the subject of extensive public consultation.

“In 2020, over 30,000 people, organisations and businesses were involved in the consultation process to prepare the Town Investment Plan.”

Town Deal Funding is money allocated by the government aimed at reviving struggling town centres.

Cllr Linda Wild, the Mayor of Whitby, said: “Since January 2020 there has been a lot of involvement from councillors with the Town Deal.

“Anyone, at any time, could ask any questions.

“The Old Town Hall was built in 1778, it desperately needs that money, it’s just a few steps away from being in a serious condition.

“£17.1m for Whitby is a good investment.

“It would be good for any town.

“Nobody can say it’s not good to be given £17.1m.

“The next step is to ensure we get the best value for money achievable.”