After some considerable effort I have obtained a photocopy of what was no doubt a very impressive Hartlepool Tall Ships Bid Brochure. It is long on generalities, artists impressions and hype but very short on specifics. There were many things that made interesting reading, including the fact that 175,000 visitors created a party mood through out the entire town when the ships came for a visit in 2005. I must have been busy that day! Also, no mention of how this number was arrived at?
Most worrying for me was that throughout the document there were numerous mentions of what
However, the only mention of finance comes almost right at the end.......
No actual mention of what a "significant budget" actually is.......
My enquiries at Cabinet level have revealed that they are just as much in the dark as everyone else. Only the Mayor (and one assumes his chosen band of Officers) must be in the know as to exactly “how the finances will be raised through our partners and other sponsors"
No briefing has been offered to back bench Councillors but then that’s not exactly surprising.