Posted by Chris:
The nonsense in today's edition of the Evening Gazette criticising our withdrawal of funding from Tees Valley Regeneration needs proper explanation:
We have agreed not to pay £50,000 towards the costs of two project officers.
We have already paid out a quarter of a million pounds to this organisation over the past four years and they have not promoted a single project in our Borough. The organisation is concentrating its efforts in the area between Middlesbrough and Stockton. They refused to support Coatham Links but expect us to back Middlehaven, which we are happy to do, but they must treat us equally and there is a view amongst our officers and members that this is not happening.
We have not pulled out of the organisation but have fired a warning shot that we are not prepared to continue being ignored and that we demand investment in our Borough.
We have today fiercely defended our position in what was one of the best debates the Council has had for a long time. We took advice from our officers and I hope that our points will be put across when the Gazette reports on the debate.
It has absolutely nothing to do with our promotion of the area as part of Yorkshire, as the opposition are claiming. We have to work with the Tees Valley organisations and the North East for economic development and strategic planning purposes and do so willingly, but we are not prepared to waste public money funding staff who are doing nothing for our area.
Councillor Glyn Nightingale is leading on this for the Coalition.