Monday, 18 November 2013


Call me old fashioned but to me when a developer wants to develop your land then they must first bear the cost of purchase AND then the costs of developing the same.
However it seems that Northampton Borough Council in pursuit of the ever elusive Grovesnor Centre Extension scheme has rewritten all the usual rules of commerce!
A contract we know was signed between the Council and the owners of the existing Grovesnor Centre, Legal and General in 2004, I was on the council at the time and was party to the detail of that contract.
Of the four political groups Lib Dem, Tory, Labour and Independent my own group the Independents were the only group not willing to support the deal, we felt that the land in question was being sold by NBC to Legal and General far too cheaply, and we thought the conditions resting on the shoulders of the Council Tax Payer to uphold its end of the contract to be far too high, that was our prerogative and our duty as elected members, the rest of council disagreed and the contract was signed.
Commercial sensitivity to this day excludes me revealing either the price paid to NBC  from L&G or the extent of the land purchased or even the fine detail of the contract. But the Councils actions and Legal and Generals inaction since speak with much far more authority than any whistleblower could ever achieve.
First of all The Council had to buy Stagecoach out of its lease on the Greyfriars bus station, this was done to the tune of £5m of Council Tax payers money being handed over to the Bus Company, an irony in itself considering that when Stagecoach first arrived at Greyfriars they were squatters having sold their own bus station facility on the Bedford Road for Housing and thus becoming homeless overnight!
But the £5m was pledged with £2m paid up front. Next to made public was the contractual obligation on the Council to vacate the Old Bus Station and thus build an inadequate replacement on the Old Fish Market site, another tenant (the Northampton Arts Collective) were paid off and another £8m committed to building what will be little more than a glorified oversized glass bus shelter in the middle of a predicted traffic hell. Meanwhile we heard that the Mayorhold Car Park was to have a £2m refit, supposedly as part of the deal (but we can't tell you why!) and in the last few days the Council have now announced they will spend another £4m demolishing the Old Bus station to allow for any  future development.
Those with good mental arithmetic skills will now be up to speed on the total figure of £19m of council tax payers money that has already been spent or committed on oiling the cogs of the Grovesnor Centre Extension contract.
And in all that time just what have Legal and General Done? and what have they spent? We have all seen the pretty pictures of proposed schemes press released to the local papers, we have even heard of their extended plans to build houses, hotels and Offices on the still to be disclosed site, and we shook our heads in dismay when they suggested they may have to "scale back" their plans on the size of the extension, but where are the planning applications? where is the financial commitment? Multi Million pound deals like this are not done without careful consideration of timed and phased clauses being imposed on both parties, each party is well aware of what should have been done by whom by when. So why does it seem to many of us that the spend and action is all one way.
I am fortunate in one sense because I have read the contract, I didn't like it, I was out voted by the Lib Dem, Tory and Labour Leaders who respectively went off to their group members and fellow Cllrs at the time and told them how wonderful the Emperors new clothes would be. I invited my two fellow Independents to view the document for themselves and lo and behold they both agreed with me that the Emperor was indeed naked and had even sold off all the Councils Silver and mortgaged our futures in order to afford the tailors bill!
This week The Lib Dem opposition on the Council questioned the spend of the £4m on demolishing the Bus Station, this late arrival at the table of doubt is far too little, far too late, they as a political group in power together with officers of the council negotiated the very same deal and then signed it. The Tory's now in the hot seat at the Guildhall will not want any of the fine details disclosed, they simply want to bathe in any glory they can furnish from ANY future build. and the Labour Party who were equally complicit in agreeing the deal it seems are just incapable of any opposition whatsoever!
So this week in my blog I throw down a challenge to the whole Council, in the absence of any submitted Planning Application or seen progress on behalf of Legal and General and in light of the heavy public expenditure on the development scheme to date from the public purse, then call the whole deal into Public Scrutiny using the Councils powers to give the public of our town the right to judge their actions. If part of the hearing has to be in private with proper explanation and authority then so be it, but it is high time that we all knew the truth, high time the people paying the bills can pass comment on the value they are getting for their money and high time we all were witness to the price Legal and general have paid the Council for the privilege of using this land in the future once the tax payer has dealt with all of the development obstacles.
A measured response would show at least a willingness for them to defend their actions, continued silence will only condemn them all further.



Blog Archive

Thank You

Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


100 key seats 1980's 1997 2013 50th Birthday 96 Abington Park absent parents abuse Academy Status Adam Simmonds Adam Simmonds. Police and Crime Commisioner Northamptonshire. Class A drugs Adam Simmonds. Police commisioner. Northamptonshire County Council Afghanistan Afro Caribbean Agent airbrushed for change airlines Al Quida Aldi allowances AlQuida Anarchist ANC Andrew Mitchell animated fairy story Anjona Roy Ann Frank Ann Timson Apathy Arab League Council Archway cottages Arms raid arrears. Northamptonshire race Equality Council Ashes to Ashes Ask a Socialist astragate Asylum seekers Audit Baathe Party bamboo joint Banana Banker barbecue tax Bashar Assad bbc BBC radio 4 Bedroom Tax Benefits benito mussolini Benjamin Netanyahu Big Freeze Big Society Billy Bragg Binners Birds black and white cats Black Swans Blair blogger blogs Blood Blowing smoke up your skirt Blue Light Services BNI BNP boardroom buffoons Bone marrow Boris Johnson borough council boot and shoe borough council elections Borough Solicitor BP Bradlaugh Brian Binley Brian Hoare brighton Britain in Bloom British Government broken britain Brown Pelican Bryn Estyn Children's Home budget cuts Bulgarian Bullingdon Club Burglars Bus Interchange Bus Station Bush businesmen Cabinet Call in campaigning Cannes canvassers capitalism Captain Ska Car Park Revenue car parks career wreckers carillion carlisle Carrillion CASPAR Castle Ward Castle Ward 2 Catherine Tate CDC censorship Census 2011 change Charity Commision cheating cheats chicago Chicago Fruit Police Chickens Child Abuse China Chloe Smith Chris Grayling Christmas Christopher Myers chronicle and echo Clement Attlee Cllr Andrew Simpson Cllr Andy Mercer cllr Bill Parker Cllr Brian Hoare Cllr Brian Markham Cllr David Mackintosh Cllr David Palethorpe Cllr David Perkins Cllr Dennis Meredith Cllr Elizabeth Gowen Cllr Gareth Eales Cllr Jean Hawkins Cllr Jim Harker Cllr Jim Harker Road Safety Cllr John Caswell cllr John Yates Cllr Malcolm Mildren Cllr PD Varnsverry Cllr portia wilson Cllr Richard Church Cllr Robin Brown Cllr Sally Beardsworth cllr Scott Collins Cllr Tony Buckley cllr Tony Clarke Cllr Tony Woods Cllr Trini Crake Clr David Perkins Clyde Loakes Coalition government cobblers combustion committee places Community Basher conference 2013 Conservative Conservative Party Conservatives consumption Contracts Corby corporate fools corporate spin corrupt Council Council tenants councy council County Council Election county council elections CPS credit crunch crime Crimea cuts CWU Daily Mail daniel hannan mep. NHS Daventry District Council David Cameron David Harvey David Perkins. Brenden Glynane David Ross day fotlu DDC debt decent homes Defend Council Housing Delapre Abbey democracy wreckers destruction disaster DIT Britain Dostiyo Dot Cotton Duckenfield Duckinfield Ealing Council Earworm Community East Midlands in Bloom East Midlands Labour Party easy read economy Ed Balls Ed Millaband Ed Milliband education election Elections 2013 Electoral iregularity Ellis Island email Emilie Oldknow Emily Oldknow Empowerment fund Enterprise Enterprise Managed Services Environment Agency Eric Pickles ester ranzen EU euro European parliament expelled F W De Clerk F*ck you facebook FAir is worth fighting for Fairground ducks Fairytale of New York Far Right fire Fish MArket Fitzy fixed penalty notice Flashman Floods Florence and the Machine flytipping Fountain free Friends of Delapre Abbey Full Council Gaddafi Gang Culture Gaza GDP general election Geoff Howes George Bush George Bush Jr George Osborne George Osbourne Germany Glasgow mosque GMB Golden Handshake google gordon brown government Government Cuts Grant Shapps greed Greedy Bankers Greek economy Green Green Party Greyfriars growth 1980's Guantanaomo Bay. Shaker Aamer Guernsey Harry Enfield Havelock Havildar Gaje Ghale haymarket Hazel Blears health Helicoptors Help the aged highways Hillsborough hoodies hope not hate House of Commons House of Lords Housing Housing numbers Housing. eviction human rights Ian Gibson IDF il duce Immigration imprint Independent Independent Green Independent Network independents India Injunction inquiry international internet Iran Iraq Iraq war ISIS Islamaphobia Israel Italy IVA jedward Jeremy Clarkson jerk chicken Jihadists Jimmy Carr Jimmy Saville jingles Joe Joyce John Dickie john gardner John Lennon Johnston Press Journalists justice justice for the 96 KBC Ken Livingstone Kevin Quigley Khudadad Khan KPMG Kraken Kurdistan La Madala Labour Labour Group Labour Party Lady Wantage Lampedusa Land Tax Lansbury last of the summer wine Leadership election league two Learning difficulty Learning Disability Lebanon Lee Barron leeds Legal and General Liar Liar Lib Dem Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrats Liberals Libya libya. david cameron Likely lads Lily allen Liverpool lloyd grossman local candidates local governance local government Local Government Association local press localism bill Loft insullation London Labour London Olympics london riots Loo of the year Lord Mandelson Lord Michael Ashcroft Lord Stuart-Smith Lord Taylor Lord Waterhouse LSE Mackenzie mad as a box of frogs Madiba Mahmoud Abbass Malcolm Mildren Margaret Thatcher Market Square Market Square Fountain Market Trader Martyn Gilleard martyrs May 2ns Medhi Hussein media Michael Ellis Michael Foot Michael Turner QC Micheal Ellis MP micheal martin Middle Classes Middle East migrants Mike Ferrigan Milk Snatcher millions Miserable old sod mk dons mortgages MP's Expenses mps expenses Multi Agency Group Muslim community Narrowboats Nasseem Nicholas Taleb Nathan Worrell National Debt national front Nato Nazis. EU NBC NCC Neil Lewington Neil Magregor NEL. MIPIM Nelson Mandela Neo Nazis NEP New Statesman New Year NHS Nick Clegg nick clegg.norman clegg Nick Griffin Niel Kinnock NNDC NNJPU Noor Inyat Khan North Wales Police Northampton Northampton Borough Council Northampton Chronicle and Echo Northampton Conservatives Northampton Independent group northampton independent voice Northampton Labour Party Northampton Labour Party. Northampton Borough Council Northampton Liberal Democrats Northampton Saints Northampton South Northampton South Conservatives Northampton Town Football Club Northamptonshire County Council Northamptonshire County Council Elections Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Northamptonshire Music Service Northamptonshire Police Norwich North not all party's are the same ntfc Number 10 Observer Oil Old Labour Oliver Tambos Paddy Tipping MP pakistan Palais de Festival Palestine Parish Poll. Police Commissioner Elections parking parking services parliament parsons Party Political Broadcast Paul Blantern Paul Varnsverry PCC Pegasus Penalty Charge Notices pensioners pest control pest express Peter Mandelson Peter Righton pfi phillip mears photos for all occasions Pinky and Perky Plain English planning police Police and crime Commissioner Police Commisioners Police Commissioner elections political Polycythemia Pope Francis poplar porkie pies President Obama privatisation Professor Pongoo proportionality public consultation public deficit Public Service cuts purdah que sara sara Racism Radio 4 rats Rebekah Brooks reccession Recycling referendum refuse collection regional labour party relegation Rememberence Sunday residents parking retail Richard Hannon right wing riots Robert Cottage Romanian roofing RPA act RSA Rushden Sainsburys Sally Keeble Sam King Scrutiny Seb Coe Second Life Shame on you shameless Shami Chakrabarti Sheltered Housing Shire shirkers Shona Deans Messinger silver medal Simon Cox Simon Williams Skateboarders skivers. scroungers Slipping back in time SNC Snow Spad speaker spies spring boroughs Spring Boroughs Residents squandering St Andrews st andrews road St James Stagecoach stagnation standard and poors standards board stealth tax Stephen Pound MP. Jeffrey Archer Steptoe and Son Steve Messham Stock Market street lights supergran suspended Syria Taliban Tax Evasion tax the rich tea team GB Terry Waite Tescos Tess Scott Thatcher The Cobblers The Conservative Party The Green 'Un The Green PArty The Press The Queen The Report The Ridings The Saints the story of broke the story of change the story of stuff The Sun through the keyhole ticckle Till Death do us part" Tom Watson MP Tony Blair Tony Clarke Tony Clarke MP Tony Woods Tory Tory Government Tory Party Tory's town centre trade unions Trees Trevor Kavanagh TTIP TUC Trident Tuck Inn TVC E-coli and coliforms tweets twitter UAF UK debt UK floods UK Government UK riots UKIP UKIP. Green Party UKIP. Labour Party Ukraine Ulric Cross ULT UN unemployment union flag unitary authorities unitary government Unite against Facism United Learning Trust united nations Unity College Upper class USA usual channels Vara Varnsverry. Guildhall vat Virtual vlog vote Walter Tull Waltham Forest Wardens watchdog WDC Welfare welfare cuts west northamptonshire joint planning unit Westbridge Westminster Weston Favell School what's the point of Nick Clegg wicked William Hague window dressing winter wonderland witch hunt WNDC WNJPU workers Working Class working mens clubs workshy written questions WWII youth services