West End’s Rose Bowl cricket ground has been on the verge of going bust says The Daily Echo.
Echo Chief Reporter Julian Robinson claims to have had sight of a top secret report from Eastleigh council finance boss Nick Tustian which states that the cricket ground was in danger of going into administration earlier this year and is ‘struggling.’
The Echo claims that the council have considered buying the Rose Bowl lease for £7 million in order to save their development plans for the site – a 5 star luxury spa hotel.
The council who currently have 6,500 people on their housing list, hopes to borrow £32 million to construct a toff’s paradise complete with gourmet restaurants an 18 hole golf course – and unbelievably – rooms with gold plated taps, a pet grooming salon and champagne filled mini bars.
In an editorial The Echo – who recently lost a lucrative contract to print and distribute the councils own ‘Pravda’ style news sheet – attacked its former business partners plans as reckless, describing them as ‘a gamble’.
Eastleigh Borough council regularly holds secret meetings under ‘exempt business’ rules to discuss it s operations as a taxpayer funded property development business.
It has used these meetings to secretly purchase millions of pounds worth of commercial property interests which include offices and hotels and pubs.
In a recent review of council finances the audit commission has praised the council saying it gives ‘value for money’ but it also warned that the council would need to deliver savings of £3 million over three years in order to deliver a balanced budget and warned that the council faces risks from its ‘substantial capital programme, particularly in relation to interest rates and rental income’.
The council recently admitted it did not believe it could achieve full occupancy of its Wessex House office block and alternative plans to earn income from installing solar panels on its roof instead have just been torpedoed by the towns own MP.
In the same report the auditor reveals the council has already spent a total of £1.25 million on ‘preparatory costs’ for the Rose Bowl project although Council Leader Keith House told The Echo ‘The council has no investment in the Rose Bowl’
One Eastleigh resident aged 54, who did not wish to be named, reacted angrily to the news.
“All I want from the council is for them to empty my bins and sweep the street – this they fail to do. My bins get emptied once a fortnight and my street is swept just once a year.
“I don’t expect the council to use my money to rent out hotels or pubs and or to sponsor a national tour by a Polish theatrical company.
“We need to have some ‘back to basics’ councillors in Eastleigh. Money needs to be spent on delivering core services like street cleaning and bin emptying first – before spending on cricket or ballet. We need to spend more money to support things like bus services for elderly people not cut these services in order to have more money to buy up empty office blocks”.
Read full story on Echo website
Rose Bowl Photo © Graham Horn