Thursday 09th December 2021,
North Yorks Enquirer

CWTRA Meeting – Outcome & Votes

CWTRA Meeting – Outcome & Votes

  • – an “In My View ” article by NIGEL WARD.

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Last night’s meeting of the Castle Ward Tenants’ & Residents’ Association (CWTRA), according to reports from those present, was an acrimonious affair, characterised by the by-now customary platitudes and misinformation provided by Council Officers (who are not resident in the Ward), on the one hand, and penetrating (but unanswered) questions from residents, on the other.

Neither Council Leader, Councillor Steve SIDDONS [Lab.], nor his ‘Deputy’, Councillor Liz COLLING [Lab.] attended the meeting.

The Leader responded to his invitation thus:

On 23/11/2021 09:09, Cllr.Steve Siddons wrote:

Thank you for your invitation. I’m sorry that I will not be available to attend this meeting which is primarily
for Castle Ward residents. I know that the officers present will provide a comprehensive presentation on the
redevelopment of the former Argos site.

You ask for a political dimension to the debate. This project was conceived during the last Conservative
administration and was supported by the vast majority of Elected Members across the political spectrum
when the scheme was approved in July 2019.

Following that Council decision, a legally binding contract was entered into to prepare and develop the
scheme which will now go before Planning Committee. That contract IS legally binding.

The University are fully committed to this scheme and it forms the basis of their expansion plans which will
see up to 5000 students receiving professional training within the town. This would not be possible without
this project.

A number of concerns have been raised by residents and that is why I have asked for a short delay in
planning to ensure those concerns are addressed and explained and residents views are listened to.
I would also remind you that extensive consultation has also been carried out with a wide range of other
groups in the town.

The purpose of these consultations is to provide information on the proposals and answer any questions
stakeholders may have. We are also attempting wherever possible to consult with groups and organisations
who’s views are typically underrepresented.

Stakeholder groups we have now confirmed dates / undertaken consultation with, include:

Scarborough Chamber of Trade
Scarborough Market Traders
South Bay Traders Association
CU Scarborough Students and Staff
Scarborough Harbour User Group
Bar Street Traders
Yorkshire Coast Sight Support
Scarborough Civic Society
Scarborough Town Centre Team
Sidewalk Youth Project
Coastline sight suspport
Beyond Housing

Wider awareness raising and consultation across the borough is being undertaken through traditional and
social media channels, examples include but are not limited to:

facebook www.facebook.com/scarboroughcouncil/videos/925700748349591/ , the Council’s own
webpage https://www.scarborough.gov.uk/latest-news/leader-statement-former-argos-proposals, The
developers webpage https://newboroughregeneration.co.uk/ , the Scarborough News and of course the planning portal.

Cllr Steve Siddons
Leader of the Council
Councillor for Ramshill & Weaponness
Scarborough Borough Council

Scarborians in the education sector have expressed astonishment to learn that the CU campus has facilities for 5,000 students and wonder where the Leader obtained this figure.

The Enquirer has since had sight of an FOIA request, as follows:

Please provide copies of the formal responses received from the following groups as derived from the SBC consultation meetings with regard to the proposed Argos development.

Scarborough Chamber of Trade
Scarborough Market Traders
South Bay Traders Association
CU Scarborough Students and Staff
Scarborough Harbour User Group
Bar Street Traders
Yorkshire Coast Sight Support
Scarborough Civic Society
Scarborough Town Centre Team
Sidewalk Youth Project
Coastline sight support
Beyond Housing

The Enquirer hopes to publish the Response (if any).

Councillor COLLING stated merely that she was “unavailable”, leaving the Officers to take the flak (of which there was plenty):

I am unavailable this evening so will not be able to attend the meeting.

I am confident that the officers who have had this in their diary for some time can answer any issues raised.

Thanks

Liz Colling

Two votes were taken.

Firstly, those FOR (2) and AGAINST (49) the barrack-block ‘regeneration’ of the ARGOS site;

Then FOR (49) and AGAINST (2) the proposed Town Square.

A double landslide.

Insider sources are now reporting that the talk within the Town Hall is all about deferring the Planning Application until the New Year.

It would appear that the SIDDONS administration will not take “NO!” for an answer.

Meanwhile, time is working against the Leader’s demolition/re-build option, as construction/labour/transport costs are escalating daily. Perhaps the voice of the people will prevail after all.

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