Letters from the (Sea) Front
Resistance to Scarborough Borough Council’s fiercely opposed proposal to access £5 million of Town Deal Fund cash and throw a further £6.4 million of Council reserves to ‘regenerate’ the Scarborough West Pier, in disregard of previous commitments to upgrading the commercial potential for the fishing community and the burgeoning ‘renewables’ industry (whose stock has risen sharply in response to the energy crisis), has been ramped up by two following two Letters urging the ‘powers that be’ to re-examine the veracity of the Business Plan presented by the Council to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).
The first, from John Senior MBE TD is addressed to Scarborough & Whitby MP Robert Goodwill [Con.], NYCC CEO Richard Flinton, SBC CEO Mike Greene, and various members of SBC and the Scarborough Town Deal Board.
An earlier Open Letter from Mr Senior to Mr Goodwill is available here:
The second, from Mr Peter Lee, references information raised in an article by NYE Harbours correspondent ALLAN ROBERTS, available here:
Readers may also wish to examine an article from the Scarborough News, dated 29th March 2012, which serves to confirm ALLAN ROBERTS report. Link here:
Other relevant press reports are available towards the bottom of this page.
The suspicion arises that SBC, in its Business Plan to the DLUHC, has misrepresented its case by omitting ten years of prior commitment to facilitating onshore and transit services for the ‘renewable (i.e. windfarm) industry and implying that the West Pier is part of Scarborough Town Centre – which, even according to the Council’s own official map, it clearly is not:
PLUS: Scroll to the bottom to read a very encouraging Report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The parallels are breath-taking.
Mr Senior’s Letter
Date: 3 September 2022 at 12:04:23 BST
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Subject: Re: Developing our Maritime industry 2016/17
Reply-To: John Senior
Dear Sir Robert and All
John W Senior MBE TD
Mr Lee’s Letter
So……. In 2015, Scarborough Borough Council was fully aware of the huge potential the renewables industry held for the port of Scarborough.
They even had a representative on a Parliamentary working group in anticipation for the then planned wind farm at Dogger Bank and were applying for funding to support these aims.Then, in 2019, in complete isolation and unbeknownst to any of us, Scarborough Borough Council made a bid for town centre regeneration funds with plans for diversification and changing the primary use of the West Pier into a land-based tourism food court, with absolutely no justification or consultation with key stakeholders or with the community.
This was a most peculiar stealth about-turn, considering their determined intention to diversify into the then emerging renewables industry sector, especially as we are the closest port to the Dogger Bank wind farm, a project whose size and ambition is of a global scale.
So how did we get to where we are now, and who knew what and when?
Obviously, Mr Edwards, as Senior Officer for Harbours, knew all about the potential wind farms already easily within our grasp.
Obviously, renewables and Harbours expert Mr Alex Richards knew, having been included in the government committee.
I would assume our MP knew, and certainly should have known, that a senior Officer at Scarborough Borough Council was representing his constituency at Parliament for this world-saving mega renewables project.
Obviously, the Regeneration Team and Senior Management collectively did not inform the elected Councillors.
Obviously, the MP did not inform his fellow Board members during meetings of Town Deal Board on which he sits. Notably, there is no mention of the renewables potential in any of the minutes of those Board meetings I can uncover.
Most importantly, why did they fail to inform the Department of Levelling Up of Plan A (the renewables option) and how did they successfully convince them to agree to commit funding where it does not qualify and is not required? Did they tell them the funds were absolutely essential to save a Harbour in terminal decline?
So… the £14m question (at pre-inflation estimates) is;
Was this collective amnesia a conspiracy by the above mentioned public servants to deceive the Department of Levelling Up, the Councillors, the Town Deal Board and MOST IMPORTANTLY us, as “key stakeholders”?
However, this situation has recently been elevated from a provincial battle of those in positions of power imposing on us what they think is best for us over infrastructure vital to the Green Energy commitments of 2030. I am informed, by well placed and qualified experts, that just off our shores lies substantial reserves of natural gas. Even Liz Truss has told us of her intentions to call upon these reserves in this desperate time of national need.
So here is a BILLION pound question:
Will those mentioned above be able to impose on us their blinkered but determined West Pier plans in preference to keeping granny alive, never mind keeping her warm in the cold winters ahead of us?
Answers on the back of a Russian Ruble banknote.
I close with a thought: why was the £14m funding for the West Pier from the Towns Fund not spent where it is desperately needed and wanted by the whole community?
The money should have gone where the government intended, to revive our struggling town center on what we were all promised, a genuine Market Square on the site of yet another project Scarborough Borough Council committed its self to against the public and communities opinion aided by another invisible U-turn, the now abandoned Argos building!
The ship may, as our MP says, have set sail. Casting off prematurely and certainly not noticing it’s low tide.
With much amusement the Captain and crew’s embarrassed faces are clear for us all to see!
Perhaps Mr Cole and Mr Siddons can inform us all with another “Myth Buster” article in the next Residents News with a feeble attempt once more to rewrite history!
Scarborough News article (dated 29th March 2012)
“Windfarm industry will power business”
- The Scarborough News
BUSINESSES in Scarborough are being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offshore wind farming is set to create for the region.
Plans are in place for three major wind farms off the East Coast, two of which lie directly off Scarborough’s shores.
Speaking yesterday at a business breakfast, organised by Handelsbanken at Scarborough Rugby Club, Alex Richards, offshore wind project manager for Scarborough Council, told delegates how the town is perfectly placed to benefit from hundreds of jobs as a result of the project. He said:
“These wind farms are an entirely new industry and form one of the biggest single engineering projects the UK has ever undertaken.
“There will be thousands of workers who will be living on site at any one time, it will be like a whole community off our shore.
“This community will need servicing and maintaining. They will literally need everything to be supplied from shore, and we are well placed to make sure we are the people supplying them.
“Our biggest threat is Europe. We have to make sure these contracts are going to UK business, and most importantly to businesses from the Scarborough, Filey and Whitby area.”
The proposals for the farms are currently in the process of securing planning permission from the Crown Estate.
This stage is expected to last into 2014, after which private sector funding will be sought from the energy companies.
It is expected construction will start in 2015.
The council is currently working in partnership with education providers, particularly with Graham-raincliffe Federation and George Pindar Community Sports College, to promote careers in engineering and manufacturing to ensure a supply of skilled workers to the industry.
Mr Alex Richards
quoted in the Northern Echo on 14th October 2011:
Mr Alex Richards
quoted in the Scarborough News on 25th October 2018: