I feel it is appropriate to respond to Justin Brown’s letter in the Spalding Guardian on February 2.
Since November 9, we have been asking for evidence of the claims that the “marina will bring jobs, money and tourists”. We are still waiting for details of the business plans which supported the original grant of £250,000, and the subsequent increase of £150,000, from Sutton Bridge S106 Fund.
Mr Brown states that “the marina was the idea of the Sutton Bridge Community”. I question that assertion on the following basis. During the period 2004 to 2008, the time that the original planning for the marina took place, the parish council had four councillors, and the then clerk, who are all now “directors” in Nene Marine CIC Ltd; the rules of which allow them to pay themselves from the income generated.
Since 2008, when a largely new council was elected, and again in May 2011, the lack of information provided by Nene Marine, and their refusal after three invitations to discuss it, has been very worrying.
If suitable and verifiable evidence can be provided that the (disputed) £400,000 of S106 funds will benefit the village of Sutton Bridge, I’m sure parishioners will want to move forward with the marina.
However, I genuinely believe that such evidence cannot be provided, and that the whole project should be stopped until a full review of those “benefits” can be made.
There is also the question, still to be answered, of whether South Holland District Council did exceed its authority in adding the £150,000 to the original £250,000, of Sutton Bridge S106 Funds.
Mr Brown’s letter contains lots of “suggested” and “likely” words, which does not actually give the reader a great deal of confidence in his assertions.
C J Brandon-King (Mr)