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North Yorks Enquirer

Why Do Our Local ‘Rags’ Get Their Facts Wrong?

September 8, 2011 Letters

A Letter to the Editor from Mike WARD (writing as a member of the public), criticising inaccuracies in the Whitby Gazette.


Why do newspapers get their facts wrong or only report in part ?

Dear Mr Editor,

I have personal experience of misreporting by the Marlborough Gazette and Herald, which will now cost them a four figure sum.

The Whitby Gazette in my time on the Council was good when it came to my comments but I have to pull them to task with regard to the report on the Engine Shed in Tuesday’s Gazette which I have only just seen.

It appears that the shed is in a derelict state and SBC have done nothing except grant permission for nearby cottages and apartments. These apartments went out of the window some time ago.

I fought on issues surrounding the Engine Shed for 4 years. The Engine Shed has now had a new roof plus other improvements.

I believe the works THAT HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT would have cost over £200K if all charges were included (obviously the developer himself didn’t have the labour cost as such).

Previously the shed was in danger of falling into desrepair but now there is a sound basis to fit out the inside. Previously the building had been rejected by Heartbeat and by the Moors Railway because of those potential initial costs.

I will not comment on the rest of the development and how the shed has been potentially isolated.
Many people,including myself who voted against the flat development & then the further cottages at a Planning Committee when I was on the Council, have overall concerns.

However this doesn’t get away from the fact the Engine Shed with a starting guide price of just under £40k could provide the basis for an excellent business opportunity.

It is well sited in the middle of a thriving tourist resort. I think the report should have reflected this. Why didn’t the headline read – Large sound Freehold Premises for only £40k(in the centre of Britain’s Premier Resort !).

We have to think positively and creatively about the Engine Shed rather than shed doubts on it’s future.

The developer knows that residential development is out of the question hence his need to dispose of the building.This doesn’t prohibit it’s use as described in the sale brochure.

A sound freehold premises for a possibly very attractive price. Yes it would need fitting out but the fabric of the building has been restored.

I totally disagreed with WTC’s idea for a Town Hall based on the old Magistrates Court but with a proper business plan could the Engine Shed be run as a Community building ? Could Heritage Lottery or other Grants be applied for ?

SBC deserve criticism on many issues (at present on the state of the West Pier just for one !) however on the Engine Shed I think they have protected a valuable building even given the restrictions that now exist.

Just felt this report was too one sided.

Yours, etc


Mike Ward. Dunsley. 8th September, 2011.

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