What’s the Future for the Cornwall Stadium?
The last 10 days has been a roller-coaster ride for the stadium project. First, Scott Mann resigned as Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council’s Conservatives over public money being used in this project, then, on Thursday, the West Briton published details of the business plan that was discussed at the recent E&E Scrutiny Committee that was closed to the public.
In the article published in the West Briton it say’s Cornwall Council is considering paying for the infrastructure around the site to the tune of £8m and could act as guarantors to the whole project that could be as much as £15m. Sadly, even though much of the detail contained in the restricted (better word than secret) report is published, I as a Councillor cannot give details, or even confirm if these figures are true because of the current rules that do not allow me to discuss the detail in the report because the council has not lifted the restriction on the papers.
The reliance of restricting information from the public is the main cause of distrust the public has on the project. I blogged before about the PR being a disaster and the recent article in the West Briton has added to that distrust. The often repeated mantra of ‘no public money will be used in this project’ will look too many as a lie. Using a clever play on words like ‘construction’ has back-fired like a badly tuned car.
Many Councillors are now saying the stadium project is now holed below the waterline and taking on water fast. This is a shame because this stadium could have been a real asset to Cornwall. If this project has any chance of staying afloat strong leadership is required immediately. More importantly, the public is told of the true plans, the finances and who is providing them; or else SS Stadium is going to sink beneath the waves to a watery grave.