Saturday 12 May 2018

Brent Cabinet to reconsider Pedway funding following proposed sale of Wembley Stadium

An urgent item has been put on the Brent Cabinet agenda on May 21st to re-examine th funding decisions for Olympic Way Improvements (including the replacement of the Pedway by steps) 'following the announcement of the possible sale of Wembley Stadium to a private individual/company.'

The £18m allocated to the scheme proved extremely controversial during the recent local election with residents suggesting that the money would be better used to tackle potholes and dangerous pavements throughout the borough. LINK

There have been persistent reports that the Football Association, currently owners of Wembley Stadium, have not been convinced that the replacement of the Pedway is desirable, while Quintain have cited aesthetic reasons for the replacement in the context of their overall Wembley scheme. Quintain would have been the recipient of the £18m.

To comply with the Council's Constitution on urgent decisions notice has been given to Matt Kelcher, Chair of Public Realm Scrutiny, that because of the urgency the usual 28 days notice cannot be given but 5 days will suffice:
Quintain need to continue with design development for Zone C works including the steps to be in a position to award a contract in September 2018 for the manufacture of the precast steps for installation in December 2019/January 2020. This being the only window available for the installation prior to Euro 2020. In light of recent news that Wembley Stadium is proposed to transfer from Football Association ownership to a private individual/company, Cabinet is being asked to re-examine the funding decision made in July 2017 to contribute funding for Olympic Way Improvements to enable the Council to advise Quintain accordingly.


Paul Lorber said...

£17.8 million is a great deal of public money. It is for example 5 times as much as Brent Council plans to spend of pavement & road repairs out of capital in the next year.
Not all the £17.8 million is intended for the new steps. Part of the money (although Brent do not specify the amount) is in effect a 'pay off' to stop Quintain building another massive tower block right next to the Civic Centre. Doing this sets a dangerous precedent as it gives the impression that planning decisions can be bought off with a large puile of public money.

As Martin Francis highlighted it was as long ago as 2007 that Quintain were claiming that they would pay for the steps to the Stadium. Martin also successfully rubbished Labour claims that the decision for the Council to pay anything was made in 2009.

If the Labour Cabinet now bowed to public pressure and changed its mind that would be welcome. A large part of the £17.8 million could then be invested on what local people actually want - repairs to crumbling pavements and potholed roads for a start.

claremounties said...

Let's hope common sense prevails?