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'Lavish' stadium could be bankrolled by tax payers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 11, 2012

Stadium for Cornwall

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Cornwall Council has been asked to bankroll a "lavish" new sports stadium after the private-sector group behind the scheme admitted it had come up short of funds.

Cornwall Community Stadium Ltd said the beleaguered project to build a 10,000-seat venue – the so-called stadium for Cornwall – on the outskirts of Truro cannot proceed without public money.

The plans, which have attracted widespread popular support and sparked a petition signed by 16,000 sports fans, have also provoked a bitter row within the Conservative group, where it has been labelled a "glory" project, as well as exposing divisions between the leadership of the council and the members.

The former deputy of the Tory group, Scott Mann, resigned in February after a secret report revealed plans to fund the scheme contrary to the wish of councillors.

In March, the leader of the rebel Tory faction, Fiona Ferguson, forced council leader Alec Robertson to bring any further request for cash to the full council – though the constitution decrees that the final decision be taken by the cabinet.

Mr Mann yesterday said the business case had, as expected, failed to "stack up" but described council funding as "unacceptable".

He said a publicly-funded project would have to be "for Cornwall and not for the Cornish Pirates", who are close to promotion to rugby's top tier but cannot make the step up without a new home.

"The Conservative group has been opposed to funding this for some time but that has not been reflected further up the food chain," he added.

"(The stadium) is a good thing but now is not the right time to go out and do a lavish scheme when people are struggling.

"This is a decision which should be taken by the full council not devolved to 10 or 12 cabinet members and I would expect (any decision) to be taken on, higher up."

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Jeremy Rowe said he expected a "lengthy and unpleasant" debate at County Hall on Tuesday.

Mr Rowe added: "When the cuts are biting like they are now and the council cannot even collect people's rubbish properly, it seems the wrong time to support a stadium which many say is not in the right place. If this was going to be successful we would have private sector developers falling over themselves."

The request by the consortium comes just days after the biggest housing project the authority has considered – a "stadium village" of some 1,500 homes – narrowly and controversially won planning approval. It was first revealed in an email to the Tory group by cabinet member Steve Double on Wednesday.

Chief Executive Kevin Lavery told the BBC yesterday that the council had the required £10million in reserve.

In a statement, the council said a report detailing the request will be publicly available later this week after it has been circulated to members.

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  • jabbathebutt  |  May 12 2012, 9:42AM

    A letter to Cornwall Council . If this idea was a good one there would be business people falling over themselves in the rush to do it . Simple as . There is no rush of rich people with their own money to risk this project . It aint rocket science .

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  • Terrywright1  |  May 12 2012, 9:40AM

    Well, well, what a surprise, we tax payers end up paying for this pleasure dome that will be used by the few. Suddenly the council find they have got all these millions to throw into this bottomless money pit, yet they cannot afford to repair our shocking roads, maintain schools or provide adequate care for the elderly. Also we find recently that the monstrocity on Lemon Quay, The Drummer, was paid for out of public funds despite the council saying otherwise. What can we believe anymore apart from what we can see, we the tax payers are being robbed of the essentials that are required to live in this county. We don't need expensive playthings that we cannot afford. Let common sense prevail for once.

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  • Gurnards_Head  |  May 12 2012, 9:20AM

    I think you will find that a "CERTAIN (NON) CORNISH PROPERTY DEVELOPER" is one of the gang refered to in previous posts as men of straw but I have been censored for naming names before. But I am sure we are all aware who carries the ginger gene. To ker***eat... yes it would be great for Cornish People to have a stadium they could be truly proud of but not at the cost this one at Langarth will come at given the stamp of those involved in the lies to get it through thus far... BUT THEY HAVE BEEN RUMBLED!!!

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  • cornishenigma  |  May 12 2012, 9:17AM

    It would be a terrible location for a stadium, there are no direct rail links , the park and ride doesnt run after 8pm or on sundays and the existing road system couldnt cope ! This is of coarse no surprise to the council who have consistantly ignored the views of the vast majority of people. The running costs for such a facility would not be covered by sports alone. That would mean concerts etc, however most big acts are not likely to play at such a small venue .It has white elephant written all over !

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  • Big_Ger  |  May 12 2012, 9:04AM

    Would anyone trust Cornwall county county council with this?

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  • PlimuffLad  |  May 12 2012, 1:04AM

    Well, I'm surprised. 10 comments and not a single one has mentioned the link to a certain Cornish "property developer" who also didn't have the money to bring Plymouth Argyle out of administration. Hardly surprising this project has failed with him being involved.....

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  • GreenGOM  |  May 11 2012, 7:18PM

    Do they not realise we are in the deepest recession of all time? Greedy or what!

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  • Gurnards_Head  |  May 11 2012, 6:50PM

    Well theres a turn up for the book ebxdpkd never ever thought we could or would sing from the same hymn sheet but bingo you have hit the nail right on the head. Langarth Farm is not and never will be the right site for the stadium or indeed mass housing but insidious forces both without and within Lys Kernow have railroaded that perverse scheme through thus far. Tolgus is much the better site with better road acess in a better type of area crying out for high grade development on land that is more suitable. Indeed there was once talk of Redruth RFC relocating there from the recreation ground, I reckon a supermarket would pay enough for the Rec to do a really classy job at Tolgus where the Cornish Pirates and The Reds would sit well together in Rugbys spiritual heartland. Better than that even Cornwall Council could use that buckshee 10 million Mr Lavery has said is available to buy the Rec and develop an innovative social housing scheme that would magnify the benefits of a stunning new stadium in the right place many fold. Given the Reds present self confessed parlous finances this would be a positive move for rugby in Cornwall, I for one would have no objection to Cornwall Council funding any potential shortfall to kick start the regeneration of Redruth North. This would be a good deal for Redruth, Greater Cornwall and the Cornish population a win win win situation where we could all enjoy the great facility which is needed instead of settling for a white elephant second best stadium at Langarth Farm where the numbers will never stack up without regular recourse to a very large begging bowl. From the body language it is currently exhibiting Cornwall Stadium Ltd appears to be a motley collection of opportunistic chancers hoping to freeload on public funds aided and abetted by a cynical developer and a ragtag rabble of gulliable Cornwall Council officers and councillors who think they can slip Langarth Farm through on a nod and a wink.

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  • kernowbeat  |  May 11 2012, 2:13PM

    what is wrong with people!! this stadium needs to be built for the future of sport in this county!! we seem to have a habit of living in the past!! we need to move forward as a county!

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  • fancyabrew  |  May 11 2012, 2:00PM

    Stadium for (west) Cornwall

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