Sunday, 18 April 2010

KMC Lock Horns With Tories

The first six-monthly update of the King's Meadow Campaign has brought home the difficulties in returning the Edwardian Lido back into use for the first time since 1974.

Efforts at raising the estimated £2.5m funding required have been slow, according to group spokesperson Bob O'Neill, but this reflects the economic climate and the winter period, adding that a series of events would help boost coffers.

Bruce Tindall, who is RBC's council head of development explained, "When KMC made their initial proposals, the economic situation in the country was far rosier than it is today."

It was suggested that the reopening plan would be phased to enable income from the reopened pavilion to help fund the pool development, although this still appears to be some way off.

Anne Jessel explained for KMC group,
"The fact that the meeting was so short and sweet means they trust us to get on with this and that's great."
Elsewhere the issue of funding has turned into a major political fight as Conservative Cllr Richard Willis came under attack for his criticism of KMC's 'spin operation'.

He lays out his party's 'unchanged' policy towards the site, saying tories are "committed to work with any viable partner" on the project so long as taxpayers don't bear any cost and any development is 'of appropriate size and scale'.

He quotes his colleague Cllr Jeanette Skeats, who said she will "support a viable approach for the re-generation of this area."

But in a vigorous discussion tory-supporting commenters (including a pseudonymous candidate) are criticised for wishing to tear down the Grade II listed building, while KMC supporters accuse Cllr Willis of providing misleading information regarding the potential funding of the plans.

Oranjepan says:
Tory claims of an 'unchanged policy' have been subjected to ridicule because of continuing anger at their previous support for the massive redevelopment proposed by Askett Hawke.

Cllr Townend's statement that "any high-rise development is completely inappropriate" demonstrates a complete U-turn in his position as it does not correspond with his voting record or previous statements on the subject.

Both sides say they 'mean business', but each obviously have different ideas of what this means.


More background stories on the King's Meadow Campaign

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