Monday, 4 April 2011

"Vertical Pier" - Labour's desperate lies exposed

Posted by Chris:

In desperation Labour candidates have been distributing leaflets in the Council elections which are blatent lies about the Lib Dems and the "vertical pier.". Some are even trying to distance themselves from the Labour Council's decision to go ahead with this folly.

Below I answer some of these lies and half truths.

LABOUR LIE: Even after they knew the results of their survey (with 97% against) the Lib Dems carried on voting for the vertical pier.

Quite simply there were no legal grounds to refuse planning permission. You can't turn it down just because people don't want it. The Council would simply appeal, at huge public cost and win. Clearly the Labour candidates do not understand how planning committee works.

Giving something planning permission is one thing going ahead with it is something quite different.

LABOUR LIE: They backed the pier from the very beginning.

We desperately wanted the vertical pier to be an iconic feature that will help regenerate the town. But by August this year we were becoming very concerned about the amount of public opposition to it. We were also concerned about the fact the Labour Council was failing to convince people that the proposed use of the building for a café and low rental offices was sustainable.

In August we tabled a motion asking the Council to carry out a survey of residents views. When it became clear that Labour and the Conservatives were against a survey, we withdrew the motion and said we would carry out our own freepost survey to save the public the expense.

LABOUR half truths "Watch my lips - I support the viewing tower" Lib Dem Leader August 2010

The actual quote which appeared in the Evening Gazette:
Accusing the council of putting out “misinformation,” Cllr Abbott said: “Watch my lips - I support the viewing tower. But support for something does not mean slavish subservience to what the council is doing and saying.”

Stange how they were so selective about which part to quote!

When we carried out our survey, which showed 97% against, it was Labour that carried on supporting it not us. We have listened to what the public said and have acted appropriately.

LABOUR LIE: “The bulldozers have gone in and work on the “Vertical pier” has started.”

The work currently underway is for the Environment Agency funded SEA DEFENCE work.

At the end of February the Council’s Project Manager for the “vertical pier” development announced, at Redcar Area Committee,  that the Contract for building the “vertical pier” would not be signed until after the Council Elections. This is why the Lib Dems were able to announce, even at this late stage, that if we won control of the Council we would abandon the pier.

LABOUR LIE: "The grant money would be lost" 

The grant money would not be lost. It would be available for use by something more worthwhile.

LABOUR LIE: "This could cost you £75,000,000."

This is pure nonsense. The sea defence work, which is expected to cost half of that amount,  is quite separate from the Council’s plan for a “vertical pier," as is the rest of total regeneration spend in Redcar. None of it is dependent on the "vertical pier" going ahead. The Council will save at least £3/4million.

LABOUR LIE: "A real pier would cost £50,000,000 don't believe us that is what the one just finished at Weston Super Mare cost."

Lib Dems want the Council to provide a real pier at Redcar and four or five years ago it was estimated that it would cost £3 or £4 million for a pier similar to the one at Saltburn. That cost will have risen now but, grant funding will be available and possibly even government funding. If the Council made it a priority they would use prudential borrowing. One thing is for certain a real pier will be used by people over and over again. We can't say that about a "vertical pier."

The pier at Weston Super Mare cost £39 million not £50 million as Labour claimed and it included the most enormous and grandiose "Crystal Palace" type facility on the end. See picture above.
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Published and promoted by Chris Abbott for the Liberal Democrats at 3 Rydal Avenue, Redcar, Yorkshire, TS10 1JB.

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