It’s not often you’ll find me quoting from a Tory Press Release, but this one beggars belief!! Three local Conservative councillors, including their candidate for the 2015 election, claim that there has been a £13m give-away robbing Yeovil people.
The truth is that Lib Dems have acted swiftly to save local jobs and to get the Lyde Road estate finished in a difficult market. The Council re-negotiated what’s called a “Section 106” planning agreement to ensure that work did not stop at Lyde Road, that the school and shops could be built and that local tradesmen, suppliers, drivers, etc. did not lose their jobs.
The problem was that the developer would have lost a lot of money on the site if he continued on the old deal, so he had to stop work. We checked his books in detail and verified this. So did the District Valuer. The original agreement included handing over profits which had been projected in the “heady days” before the banking crisis and the recession. In the current market, the site make a big loss, £13m, under that deal.
The new deal we have agreed is to allow more “open market” housing (one in 5 houses at Lyde Road are still “social” housing, so we’ve done well). It also lets the developer off paying for specific extra off-site sports facilities (the site has already paid for some) … unless the site makes more profit than we all expect, in which case a claw-back process can take us back to the original deal. A fuller explanation has been released by Ric Pallister but that document doesn’t mention a key fact: although councils were recently compelled by a Conservative Minister to do deals like this, I had introduced a policy to re-examine our Section 106 deals a long time ago … and it was adopted with cross-party support.
Liberal Democrats work hard to understand the economy and we know the importance of jobs and housing (often form personal experience).
We used to say “you can’t trust Labour with the economy” and “you can’t trust the Conservatives to be fair”. Now it seems we can’t trust the Tories with the economy either!