Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Loads of Money!
The Mail (27th July) reported that Hartlepool Council bought the derelict Morison Hall for £60,000. How can the council justify spending money acquiring property when it is busy selling off other assets as fast as it can? £60,000 is the same amount for which the Council allegedly sold Rockhaven in Victoria Road, citing lack of funds for essential repairs for the give away price.
If the Council had to sell Rockhaven because they couldn’t afford to maintain the building then how will the council be able to afford to renovate the Morison Hall?
Mayor Drummond said the Council will now be advertising for “development partners or local businesses who we can look to go forward in partnership with.” However, the auction details gave the Guide Price as £50-60,000. Unless Hartlepool Council were so incompetent that as the only bidder they opened at the top price then someone else must have also been bidding? In which case there was a developer, or local business, already interested. Possibly that potential partner is expecting a considerable incentive to take the project forward with the council. A similar deal to Rockhaven perhaps? The Council pays all the renovation costs and then hands over a £350,000 building for a fraction of its market price?
Hartlepool Council obviously has £1,000s sloshing around in its coffers for speculative property deals. There can therefore be no shortage of cash in the town’s current account. Making talk of impending cuts and overspends just hot air and scare tactics!