Say No to Public Funding for the 'Stadium For Cornwall'.

Say No to Public Funding for the 'Stadium For Cornwall'.

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Cornwall's Future started this petition to Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP

       Say No To Public Funding for the ‘Stadium For Cornwall’

 Despite Cornwall Council’s statement in 2012 that the proposed ‘Stadium for Cornwall’ would not be publicly funded, in 2018 it changed its mind, agreeing to put £3 million of taxpayers money towards the project, with the proviso that this amount was matched by the government. It also gave, without any charge, the freehold of the stadium to the Cornish Pirates. These decisions were made despite the fact that there was no viable business plan presented to councillors and the Council being, apparently, £641 million in debt!

 The expected announcement of government money in the 2018 Budget did not materialise. It would appear that the government, like many of the critics of the scheme, was not convinced by the lack of a credible business plan.

 Now, having foolishly committed itself to the project, the hapless Council is likely to lobby the government to reconsider its decision, claiming that the Stadium is needed and desired by the majority of Cornish residents who are happy for it to receive public funding. However, this is simply not true. In March 2018, a Cornwall Live poll asked, 'Should taxpayers contribute towards funding the Stadium for Cornwall?' Of the more than 3,000 residents who responded, 71% said ‘no’. This was conveniently ignored by Cornwall Council, who should have undertaken a similar survey themselves. They didn’t, because they knew the result would undermine what has become its latest, unsustainable, vanity project.

Cornwall Council’s naivety has time and again led to it committing public funding to projects which have proved to be financially unsustainable, and the Stadium is the latest of these white elephants. Is it any surprise that it is seriously, hopelessly in debt? The grim reality is that:

  •  The Pirates have aspirations of joining the Premiership, but the stadium’s geographical location makes that highly unlikely. A capacity of 10,000 is required for access to the Premiership. Yet the proposed stadium has a maximum capacity of just 6,000.
  • The business plan’s proposal to attract sponsors, citing Exeter Chiefs as a model, is a fundamental flaw. Exeter's average gate is around 25,000 people, the Pirates a mere 1,500.
  • The Langarth site, already a planning fiasco, is totally unsuitable. There is no railway provision, and road access will exacerbate existing problems with sewerage, air pollution and traffic congestion, making life for local residents, and users of the A390, intolerable. There are also very serious implications for emergency access to the Royal Cornwall hospital at Treliske, which is already struggling to cope.

In addition to all the practical considerations of sustainability and technical feasibility, there is the, hitherto, ignored question of democratic accountability. The gullible Council, having ignored all the ominous red flags, now has Cornwall facing the prospect of yet another white elephant, involving further despoliation of the countryside, and continually propped up with finances from you, the taxpayer - finances that would be better spent on other priorities that benefit the majority of Cornish residents rather than the vociferous minority of Stadium supporters.

Having, so far, failed to attract government backing for the project, Cornwall Council will now try an emotional appeal. They will say that Cornwall desires it, and will willingly pay for the privilege. Such a deliberate falsehood cannot go unchallenged, and this is our opportunity to tell the Government, via this petition, that the people of Cornwall reject this proposal, that we have other priorities, that we are NOT willing to contribute - and that neither should they.

Please sign and circulate.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!