Over budget, late, cancelled

Liberal Democrat Leader believes Labour’s track record on town centre regeneration projects does not bode well for Spindles

Oldham’s Liberal Democrats are concerned that Labour’s decision to go it alone on the redevelopment of Spindles may lead to cost overruns, delays in delivery and money written off – if the Administration’s past record is anything to go by.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Director of Economy, Emma Barton outlining his fears.

“The Spindles – Town Square redevelopment is a hugely costly project. Not for nothing did we brand the project ‘Spendles’ for we discovered that the true cost of acquiring the shopping precinct was £10.6 million and Labour have allocated up to £65 million more to transform it,” said Councillor Sykes.

Howard Sykes at the former Crompton Baths site

“The fact that the project did not attract a private sector delivery partner is a worry. My fears are that this project might be delivered at a vastly inflated cost like the Old Town Hall, be delivered years behind schedule like the supposed ‘gamechanger’ Princes Gate, or lead to large sums being written off as with Hotel Futures and abandoned past plans for a new Coliseum and museum.”

In his letter, councillor Sykes is seeking reassurance that everything will be put in place to ensure that the project is ‘robustly managed’. He added: “We as Liberal Democrat Councillors want to be sure for our financially hard-pressed Council Taxpayers that this project will be delivered within or, better yet, below the allocated budget and delivered on time.”

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