Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Stadium cash - the secret details

Amazing the junk that people just leave laying around on my desk. But now that I've had a good read myself of the notorious "Stadium pink papers" I can report a few details which were previously unknown to me.

1. Option 1 in the document, written by the council's Head of Economic Development, outlined how the council would participate directly as a funder and member of the Cornwall Community Stadium Ltd. It looks as if Option 1 is not going to be pursued. Only five days ago the council said:
"..it has not changed its position from the previous Council decision that no public funding will be used for the stadium. Any suggestion that the Council could act as a guarantor for the project is very premature."

2. Option 2, which as previously reported calls on the council to guarantee the project, will be considered at a meeting of the Environment and Economy Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 21st March with a target "implementation date" of 31st March. Very premature?

3. The shortfall is at least £4.3million - much more than that if Inox's contribution is as flakey as it now appears.

4. The council is still of the opinion that Inox will chip in with £7m. This is despite Inox's very clear statement to the contrary.

5. The hotel developers will be called on to support the stadium to the tune of £0.5m.

6. On page 261 the secret report says: "The extent of community use of the stadium proposed by CCSL is not yet clear. However, CCSL has been incorporated as a private limited company and is not, therefore, a "not for profit" organisation or a body with charitable objects."

7. The papers are all marked "Exempt - Not for Publication." The council official who decided the documents were commercially confidential (so confidential, in fact, that it appears that even Inox has not seen them) is of course entitled to his opinion. Only a cynic would suggest that the idea of pouring millions of pounds of public money into this project is a profoundly political issue. I wonder if any members of the Environment and Economy Overview & Scrutiny Committee will challenge the "secret session" recommendation on 21st March.

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