What exactly have you spent public’s £6m on?

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Councillor Cartwright’s defence of SKDC’s failure to progress Grantham’s regeneration was laughable.

In 2007 Grantham was declared a New Growth Point (NGP) and given £6 Million by the Government to start delivering Grantham’s renaissance, and I think that we have a right to know what that money was spent on.

The NGP overview identifies 7 zones for redevelopment, South Grantham, North West Grantham, Town Centre, Station Approach, Greyfriars and the Canal Basin.

Cllr Cartwright highlighted the Station Approach in her letter, but like all the other development areas listed in the NGP no work has started on any of them, apart from some new pavers in the Town Centre. The brief for the Station Approach is certainly visionary; but the question remains as to how can it be funded?

The brief clearly states that it relies on “the state of the residential and commercial market”. In effect in a down-turn when we need the public sector to invest, it will not happen because the Station Approach plan is reliant on the property market which is in severe financial difficulties.

However, as much as a good environment, transport links, and a by-pass are of great value, there is still a lot that Cllr Cartwright could be doing to support and attract business to our town apart from talking about her plans.

May I therefore ask the the Journal find out answers to the following questions :-

1) Who is the Director for Economic Development at SKDC, how do we contact him/her, and how big is his/her team?

2) Where is SKDCs Grantham Business Advice & Support Office located, and what are their opening hours?

3) Will SKDC pay for future Enterprise Weeks events, after the last one this September? Enterprise Week is funded by the East Midlands Development Agency which has been abolished by the Conservative-led Coalition Government.

4) When Barfords announced their closure did SKDC contact the East Midlands Transport iNET to investigate the possibility of new businesses taking part or all of the site to retain skilled engineering jobs in Grantham?

5) Has SKDC organised any events with with Lincoln University and Grantham College, to link our academic base with local businesses who need assistance with research and development to produce new products and services?

6) Can SKDC’s Economic Development unit provide advice on securing Grants for local business. Such as Framework 7, Regions of Knowledge and R4SME from the EU; or Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Grants for Research & Development and Technology Strategy Broad programmes from the UK Government?

7) How much money did SKDC negotiate to receive from the developers of the SUE housing estates under an S106 agreement. How much have they collected, and what was it spent on?

There is far more to economic development than just a few pavers, and lots of ideas on paper.

Eric Goodyer