June 14, 2009
MP calls on Lord Mandelson to reconsider regeneration plan
MP, David Heathcoat-Amory, has this week written to Lord Mandelson
stating his anger at the withdrawal of £750,000 of funding
by the South West Regional Development Agency for the town's regeneration
Heathcoat-Amory has asked Peter Mandelson - who is UK First Secretary
of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
(pictured above) - to re-consider the decision made by SWRDA last
week not to give funding to Burnham's regeneration plans, as first
MP, pictured right, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Burnham and
Highbridge deserve better than this kick-in-the-teeth by the SWRDA.
Lord Mandelson is now the second most powerful person in the country
I look to him to reinstate the promised funding."
his letter, the MP states: "I write to express in the strongest
possible terms my objection to the sudden and unexplained withdrawal
of funding from the Burnham and Highbridge Civic Pride Project.
I also object to the manner of SWRDAs termination of its
funding for the Morlands site, Glastonbury."
District Council and the Burnham and Highbridge Town Council have
worked on this project in good faith with SWRDA for seven years.
Delays were caused by SWRDA which made endless demands on the
local authorities, including the production of a detailed economic
finally accepted the case, so at long last Burnham and Highbridge
were to receive their rightful share of the funding which SWRDA
has already given to other towns."
is therefore unacceptable for this project now to be terminated
at this late stage, when so much time and money has been spent
The MP's letter goes on to state: "I note that SWRDA are
not cutting a number of other projects, particularly in Bristol,
Swindon and Exeter, even though they are at a more preliminary
has also announced that it is walking away from the Morlands development
in Glastonbury, which is also in my constituency. SWRDA have owned
that site for eight years and spent over £20 million on
it without creating a single habitable building or a single job."
Somerset has therefore been savagely hit while other parts of
the region have been exempted. For instance, of the seven projects
to be cut, only one is in a government held constituency."
you are responsible for the actions of SWRDA, I ask that you intervene
to stop these arbitrary and unexplained cuts. In the case of Morlands,
I ask that SWRDA transfers to Mendip District Council not only
the site but the planned capital expenditure to complete it."