Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sainsbury's million pound 106 money, where is it?

I'm sure many of us remember back in May, that our new Cornwall Councillors, Tim Dwelly, Cornelius Olivier and Jim McKenna fought to change the 106 agreement with Sainsburys. Rather than spending the £1.2 million, gained to Cornwall Council from the supermarket, on a park and ride they felt the money would be better spent in the town centre.

As Cllr Dwelly told the Cornishman:

"I don't think a park-and-ride is the best way to spend the money," he said.

"We know that it's possible for Cornwall Council to spend it in a different way than what's in the agreement.

"What we're now exploring with them, and hopefully with Penzance Town Council and the Town Team, is a better way of spending the money.

"Penzance is in crisis and needs some urgent help, not just long-term improvement."

With the supermarket opening it's petrol station tomorrow and the store on a week wednesday (13th of November). Where will the money be spent? The simple answer is no one in Penzance knows.  I asked the town clerk and mayor months ago, what was happening with the 106 money. Little did I know that they were already chasing it up with Cornwall Council. 

With a full town council meeting tomorrow and the agenda already set, it's depressing that not once in these last 6 months have we as a body been consulted on a new way of spending the money or even told how this money will be redirected. Unfortunately requests by the town clerk to find out more have not been responded to. Even sadder is the fact the people of Penzance, whether residents or businesses have also had no say and remain in the dark. With completion so near and the 106 money to be handed over with it, was the talk of more money for the town centre just for headlines. Will we still end up with a park and ride and effectively subsidising the build of a car park for the store? I'm sure we'll soon find out.