COUNCIL bosses have accused the man behind plans to regenerate Spalding of making promises he cannot fulfil and say he is jeopardising their own work to boost the economy.
South Holland District Council has distanced itself from Richard Garvie’s Sustainable Spalding project, and issued a strong statement against the 27-year-old.
However, Mr Garvie hit back at the council, and says the authority is “miffed” because he has set the agenda on regeneration.
He says he has lined up a firm that wants to run a cinema in the town and now wants to encourage a development that would bring the cash needed to pay for it.
But the council says his views are of “great concern”.
Mr Garvie said: “I think the council is a bit miffed that the agenda has been pulled from under its feet.
“The discussion needs to be had and the town needs a cinema. If the council isn’t going to deliver it, other people are free to find a way to do it. I’d have thought they would have been more supportive.”
The council questioned what mandate Mr Garvie has for his plans – but he argues he will seek that with a public consultation.
Next week he plans to reveal three sites suitable for a new supermarket in Spalding and will ask people where they want one, if at all.
Mr Garvie added: “I’m at least taking the effort to work with people to find out what they want. Unless the council is prepared to work with people like myself then nothing is ever going to improve.
“I have got a positive view of the council and want to work closely with them but it seems that certain people have got their own agenda that doesn’t fit with the views of the town.”
In the council statement, portfolio holder for economic development Coun Howard Johnson said: “It is of great concern to us that before going public with his plans, Mr Garvie failed to consult our economic development team.
“Further to this he is now building up people’s hopes with promises which he seems unable to fulfil without both acquiring land and capital.
“Not only has Mr Garvie failed to consult us before making public proclamations but I now fear he could be putting future inward investment into the district at risk by dealing with companies and making promises he is unlikely to be able to fulfil.
“This could jeopardise dealings the council may have with these companies in the future as it could well undermine trust because of the incorrect assumption that Mr Garvie has a relationship with the council and is working with us.
“I would ask where has Mr Garvie’s mandate to undertake the work he is doing come from?”