“Good Riddance, Dud Siddons!”
Please welcome the return of Alderman “Stormin’” Norman Murphy, summing up the disastrous tenure of Scarborough Borough Council’s last Leader.
As those of you who have been following the shambolic progress of Scarborough Council over the last four years will know, the madness of King Siddons will finally come to an end on 1st April 2023 when the new Unitary Council takes over.
However, it is my guess that the damage our Tuscany-bound Labour Leader, Steve (“It’s a Dog’s Breakfast”) Siddons, has done to our beautiful Borough over the four years of his tyrannical rule will not, even if there is the will to sort out the mess his crazy gang have created, be adequately addressed by a new Council that sits over fifty miles away from Scarborough.
Projects which Siddons tried to force through, such as the Argos project (which would have seen the old Argos building demolished and a block of 200+ flats built for Coventry University – using perhaps £30 million of borrowed money to be paid back by rate-payers, although mercifully thrown out by the Planning Committee), have still burnt up millions of pounds of our money.
This was, of course, a double tragedy as not only was millions of pounds of our money wasted on this ridiculous scheme, which of course ultimately failed, but the project that was very much wanted, that is the Town Square, was dismissed out of hand by Siddons and his cronies.
Likewise, Siddons West Pier regeneration scheme, which would see our historic fishing pier turned into nothing more than a retail park – not because it is wanted, but because Siddons has ordered that we should have it. This doomed project has, and is, diverting money from improving the Town Centre, which many people do want, to create an ego-driven fantasy that only Siddons and his cronies want.
To these multi-million pound fiascos we may add the many dubious property transactions that Siddons has pushed through. These range from the sale of choice pieces of Council land, our land, almost given away to various housing associations, to the millions borrowed to buy the former Comet building and Pavilion House.
Plus, of course, we must not forget the demolition of the old Indoor Pool and the proposal by Siddons to virtually give away the cleared site to build a hotel, which, as might be expected, totally failed.
The Indoor Pool site now lies derelict and can be added to the long list of prime development sites – the Futurist, Mr Marvels, Kinderland and the old Atlantis pool – which, through total incompetence, Siddons has failed to have redeveloped.
Indeed, despite the millions Siddons has frittered away on his failed vanity projects and the many missed high-quality development opportunities available to Siddons and his cronies; what have we got to show for the millions spent and the golden opportunities presented? Absolutely nothing.
To say that Siddons four years of mis-rule has been a disaster for Scarborough and the wider Borough would be an understatement equal to the claim that the Titanic was unsinkable.