Tropicana proposal 'disrespectful'
PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 May 2011
HOW do you solve a problem like the Tropicana - the debate raged on at a feisty meeting of the newly formed North Somerset Council on Tuesday night.
Newly elected members of the LibDem party proposed a ‘new approach’ to the derelict site which depended on funding from Weston Town Council and North Somerset.
The idea, put forward by Councillor Mike Bell, was for a small-scale covered pool which would be built in partnership with local businesses at a cost of more than £10million.
But the motion was put down by Conservative party leader Nigel Ashton, who called the proposal ‘disgraceful and disrespectful’ considering the unitary authority’s state of finances.
He described how the council was having to save £47million over the next four years, and said it was not a time to discuss spending more money.
Instead, Cllr Ashton, who has been confirmed as leader of the council for a second term, set up a motion which was passed for a cross-party scrutiny panel of members to discuss short and long-term options to getting something done to the site.
He said: “I think, in short, we should rejuvenate the site. We should actually be trying to clean the site up and use it for various events and then start talking to developers and having meaningful look at what we can do there.”
Green party councillor Tom Liemdorfer backed Cllr Ashton’s motion and called for a ‘degree of realism’. He calculated a covered pool paid for by North Somerset Council would result in an increase of £8 to £12 on council tax for every resident.
n Also at the meeting, councillors Nigel Ashton, Elfan Ap Rees, Peter Bryant, Tony Lake, Felicity Baker and Jeremy Blatchford were confirmed as members of the executive.