Friday, October 12, 2007

Funding established for Basildon Sporting Village Project

There was an item at Basildon Council's cabinet last night to set up the funding structure for our Sporting Village Project. For those not familiar; this is to build a world-class sports complex including a 50m competition pool, gymnastics hall, with supporting athletics track, climbing walls, weights, physiotherapy, pitches of various kinds and so on. The idea is that it can service all needs from elite sports through to leisure and therapeutic, and for the entire District. Because of the quality of the facility it can act as a support to the 2012 Olympics. It is also desperately needed because Basildon's existing sporting infrastructure is deteriorating beyond economic repair. Now, a project like this is pretty expensive, even to run, never mind the actual build costs. Fortunately, the Communities and Local Government department have stumped up the £1m we need to get things going, and the meeting last night was to factor it into the Council's budget. Whatever the rest of the government might get up to, I have found the CLG regeneration arm to be very supportive of our ambitions for Basildon District. It was a pity that the Labour members on the Cabinet did not feel able to vote for the project establishment, but they are still hung up on the delivery model, which will see a private company design, build, operate and maintain the facility. Of course this will be to the Council's standards, especially on price, but there seems to be a Socialist thing going on here. I thought we finished this with argument sometime in the early 80s, but apparently not.

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