MP SAYS COUNCILLORS SHOULD OVERRIDE OFFICERS OVER PURCHASE OF VENTURE QUAYS

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Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has said that the Council should move ahead with the purchase of Venture Quays in East Cowes, overriding the advice of officers.

As previously reported by Island Echo, months of negotiations into buying the Venture Quays site in East Cowes could go down the drain due to coronavirus.

The Isle of Wight Council has been negotiating with Homes England for the building and land that make up the former Venture Quays site on East Cowes waterfront, hoping to save marine manufacturing jobs, but now a report to Cabinet says this could all be at risk due to the financial position of the council after the pandemic.

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The £1million acquisition of the site, which has been the subject of talks with Homes England since July 2019, could be too much for the precarious position of the Isle of Wight Council’s finances, which currently have an estimated funding gap of almost £10 million.

Photo: David Martin // cc-by-sa/2.0

Local MP Bob Seely has today (Thursday) said:

“My very strong advice to the Council is that it moves ahead with the purchase of Venture Quays.

“I fully understand the role of the council officers, their legal responsibilities and the need to be clear about the financial situation. The Council officers have responded exceptionally well to the ongoing COVID situation and I am very grateful to them for their work.

“On this occasion I believe that the Councillors should override the advice of officers and purchase Venture Quays, striking a decent deal with the shipbuilding firm there that helps to protect jobs whilst giving a decent return to the Council.

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“I have another meeting with a minister on this issue next week.

“The saga of East Cowes and ensuring its future has taken a decade and a half. It has been a remarkably painful process which has not shown central Government decision-making at its best.

“When I became the MP I was determined to press ahead and make sure we concluded a deal on this site that supported jobs and wealth creation on the Island. Working with the Council, we are on the verge of getting a much better deal than was on offer only a year ago. We need to finalise this deal and move on to other pressing issues.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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D cummings

That’s very good of Bob. The council is broke fighting the pandemic with no additional funding from central government on it’s way and years of tory austerity! How completely out of touch with his own party policies and the impact on local services.What a hypocrite and not the first time after breaking his own government lockdown rules!!

Mark

Get off the case Bob, ship building jobs for, lets say, 2 or 3 years, then it will be “oh we cannot see a profit in this” then it will be a case of luxury flats for Bob’s mates. Bob Seely, the Woodnutt of the 2020’s. I’d like to see the council stand up to this oaf we have for an MP on this matter.

anon

perhaps the council should ignore bob and return the money to the council taxpayers, if they cannot find SERVICES that we pay for, to spend it on.

We do not want the council speculating in commercial property – they are there to carry out the administrative functions of the island and nothing more.

oldbutalive

Bob advising the Councillors to override the officers advise.
 
Well now, if he thinks its such a good idea for the Council to buy the building and land, then why doesn’t he put his hand into his pockets and buy it.

Original Mark

Does Bob have a magic money tree or just a total absence of any grasp on financial reality?
 
The council, not Bob, will need to sort out the mess if, as seems likely, things go wrong.
 
If Bob would like to come up with guaranteed government funds to support his “advice” then perhaps it might justify his attempt to undermine professionals doing their job.

Bob Down

I’m with you Bob.

Mark

Seeing as the booking system for Lynbottom tip is going to be in place “for the foreseeable future” quote, don’t we pay for that service in our council tax, how about a rebate on it as we are not getting FULL facilities. Oh yes and no public toilets too.
 

Last edited 1 month ago by Sue Salter
Don't tell him pike.

Bob is right .we should buy it .He talks sense .

JHVF

We DO need the industry, we DON’T need more houses in East Cowes

Christopher Davis

What Bob do you mean they should ignore sound advice in the same way you ignored the lock down rules to attend a barbecue and then lied about it.

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