Letters: Whitby harbour land income should go back into harbour funds

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Scarborough Borough Council claims that the council spend in Whitby is higher per head than Scarborough.

Where do these figures come from?

Cllr Helen Mallory stated that Scarborough Borough Council has spent £6m over five years in Whitby - slightly over £1m per annum - not an enormous sum for a town of 12,940 souls, but what income has Scarborough Borough Council received from Whitby town over that period? More than £1m per annum comes from the off street car parks and business rates are substantial.

It is possible that Whitby town provides about one third of Scarborough Borough Council’s annual income.

The issue of Catalan independence from Spain springs to mind!

Cllr Mallory did not specify how much of the spend was Scarborough Borough Council’s own money and how much had come from grant funding and/or Section 106 money.

Section 106 funds are a planning obligation against major developers in an area to put money back into the local community.

For example, Sainsburys and Sirius have contributed many hundreds of thousands of pounds.

More than £5m is potentially available to Scarborough Borough Council for expenditure in seven areas of their responsibility as a local authority including affordable housing and education.

Scarborough Borough Council leased off our Tourist Information Centre to a restaurant owner.

The town council had registered the centre as a Community Asset with a view to future use of the building for the benefit of the town.

The people of Whitby were very angry about this and were not given the opportunity to run the centre themselves (as Thirsk has done so successfully).

The volunteers in Thirsk keep their centre open 365 days a year, unlike the Scarborough Borough Council-run Tourist Information Centre in Whitby which opens for four days only during the winter.

Scarborough Borough Council planned to close the public toilets putting Whitby Town Council in a very difficult position.

To their credit, the Town Council picked up the baton and pay contractors to maintain and service all the public toilets in Whitby, despite minimal funds.

Closing our very successful Tourist Information Centre opened a very large can of worms, visitors are struggling to find the relocated Tourist Information Centre behind a wall at the back of a car park.

This harbour land income should go back into Whitby Harbour funds for harbour and piers maintenance.

Sandra Smith

Esk Terrace