Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
By: Nick Osborne
After a debate lasting for over three hours, NELC sensationally approved Grimsby Town's plans for a new stadium development at Great Coates by a majority of 18-9. Grimsby Town supporters heavily outnumbered Great Coates representatives and behaved impeccably.
Tonight's meeting started at 7-00pm prompt. I arrived at 6-20pm to find a queue up to the old museum on Doughty Road. On entry, I was counted in as number 139 - the sight outside was all Town - lots of fans there with banners and placards in support of the club.
The mood was one of excitement and also apprehension of what lay ahead.
The meeting started with various councillors retiring after declaring an interest in proceedings. Ian Bolton, the Deputy Chief Executive of North East Lincs Council (NELC) opened the debate with a recap of previous meetings. He then went on to applaud the Great Coates site and said it would be a fantastic gateway to the town, working alongside the Europark. Various councillors then asked him a number of questions which were dealt with in a proficient and effective manner.
Keith Archer, the Director of Planning and Transportation then addressed the meeting. He confirmed that alterations to the plans for the site had in fact made it a better proposition than last time. He also commented that it left those who opposed the plan with even less to object to. He finished by recommending the site, before being asked various questions by a number of councillors, all of which had been answered as before.
Graham Powell, the representative of the Great Coates Society then took centre stage. He complained that he had had only 2 weeks to compile a report, before going on to mention a litany of building and planning rules and laws - too many to list here, but he did accept the revamp of the original plans regarding the consultation zone set by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
His plan of attack seemed to be the future development of Novartis - if they expanded, would it create problems for the HSE consultation zone, and would it affect jobs at Novartis if they couldn't expand?
He then questioned the amount of parking spaces in the proposed site plans. The answer of course was no, it wouldn't affect the future development of Novartis. As for the parking spaces, this was a question raised by a few councillors, all of whom were given answers that they probably didn't want to hear. The amount of spaces available are clearly not enough - a point the Grimsby Town Football Club itself agrees on, but this would be dealt with by the means of match day park and ride schemes.
Then IT happened, Coun Mick Burnett motioned for a straight vote. The room went very quiet and the votes came in. All were recorded. The result was a staggering 18 for and 9 against.This was in stark contrast to what happened on that black day of July 13th.
The room erupted with shouts and cheers. December 6th 2000 will no doubt go down in the history of GTFC as the day we started to go forward, with of course the help of the overwhelming support shown by the supporters on the night.
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