Projects: Unwillingness to listen

Over recent months we have seen the Government introduce the Bedroom Tax and whilst many people would agree that benefit reform was required this now seems to be affecting those who can least afford it. The Government is going ahead with changes to the way schools are funded which will have a dramatic impact on schools in North Yorkshire especially those in rural areas.

Likewise rural GP surgeries could lose their extra funding which will cause serious problems in areas like the Esk Valley.

No amount of local comment seems to have any real effect on the decisions being taken by our elected representatives.

This unwillingness to listen has now been shown by North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council in forcing through two potentially devastating projects despite objections from many councillors and the public at large.

Some years ago there may have been a majority in favour of a Park and Ride scheme in Whitby but no longer. Yet the council are intent on pushing it through regardless.

It won’t just be people in the town who will suffer. It will effect business commuters, those attempting to shop, visit the dentist/banks etc, and even those just calling in on friends. The cost of everyday activities will increase and businesses will suffer.

The borough council plan to build a Waterpark in Scarborough despite the enormous legal and economic risks. Yes the residents of Scarborough were promised a Waterpark as part of the Sands development but at what cost? Originally this visitor attraction was to be provided by the developer as part of the agreement for the total redevelopment of the area. As has been reported Scarborough Borough Council are now considering taking a public loan of £9m to help the developer build the Waterpark.

What if construction cost rise as they often do? Will 250,000 people really pay an average of £18/20 plus to visit the attraction over the next 20 plus years?

What happens if the operator walks away? Who will pick up the pieces, the repayments on the loan and the annual running cost which will exceed £3m? It will be the residents of the borough through their community charge.

Issues over the running of the Open Air Theatre meant that last year it ran at a loss of £225,000 plus, with the venue this year only attracting average audiences at the eight major events of only 58 per cent of capacity.

A Conservative lady once said she was not for turning but surely in the face of opposition some of our MPs and councillors should listen and rethink.

Mike Ward