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Council in Dock

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 21/08/2000

It's a year ago since Grimsby Town FC's plans for a new stadium were unveiled at a 'fans forum' on 26th August 1999. Attending the meeting were the development team, architects and members of town's board.

For the first time many present at the evening and those reading the subsequent reports were prepared at last to drop the cynicism and start to believe that town's new home would become reality.

Since then a great deal of proverbial water has flown under the proverbial bridge.

As we all know, the powers that be on North East Lincolnshire Council rejected the proposals on Thursday 13th July 2000, culminating in an unprecedented public outcry and a public relations disaster from which some councillors, if the public's comments are to be believed, may not recover.

Totally and purely coincidentally, of course, Jim Leivers, the Chief Executive of North East Lincolnshire Council, prepared an extra report for a 'Special' meeting of North East Lincolnshire Council arranged well in advance to discuss the one subject of Periodic Electoral Review - basically the review of electoral wards and the number of seats on the council due to changes in population etc.

The report sought and received permission of councillors to appoint consultants to 'review the availability and suitability of alternative sites for the relocation of the Grimsby Town Football Club and associated retail development.'

Although the council's costs were not disclosed, the fact that the club has already spent over £160,000 and the council's original decision was a major blow to the football club, the club called for the council to be given adequate time to come up with alternative proposals.

Consequently, the club's fans and supporters in the wider community have found themselves keeping their powder dry and simultaneously worrying that the 'problem' the council are facing will wither on the vine. Letting the council off the hook and leaving the club's future bleak.

Since then the club's impatience has come starkly into focus, following Grimsby Town's dynamic new board member Alex King speaking out by asking for the council to reconsider its earlier decision and to effectively ditch the costly and time consuming effort of looking elsewhere. Pointing out that whatever happens with the new ground, it needs to be done fast!

It CAN be reversed as in an earlier article I reported that in a letter to a local resident, Ian Bolton, North East Lincolnshire Council's Deputy Chief Executive, states, "We do not believe there are any legal obstacles to prevent the Council from reconsidering the decisions taken on 13th July."

The article continues in Part two

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