Leisure Centre Plans Spark Resignation and Bi-election

Last month we reported on East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s proposals to redevelop East Riding Leisure Hornsea into a multi-service facility for the town.
ERYC applied for planning permission to completely revamp the leisure centre with new facilities to encourage indoor and outdoor sport and play as well as relocate the Library, Customer Service Centre and Parva Road Resource centre.
The plans consist of a new two-storey extension and high-quality landscaping that will create a leisure and learning hub, providing a major new focal point for the central promenade.
The Council considered that they had received a positive response from the public consultation held at the Leisure Centre in January.
More than 450 people attended the public exhibition, with 138 feedback forms completed during the consultation process – 83 at the event and 55 online.
Seventy five per cent of those who responded were in favour – 52.94% thought the design of the new building was very good and 22.05% thought it was good.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:
“The creation of multi-service centres has proved to be successful in other parts of the East Riding, providing the public with improved services while reducing running costs for the council by having a number of services under one roof. It has also led to increased usage and substantially improved the offer to our residents.”
To view the feedback results and the council’s responses, visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/investinginhornsea
For the planning application, visit https://newplanningaccess.eastriding.gov.uk/newplanningaccess/ and search using the reference number 18/00477/REG3.
At the Town Council’s Parks and Cemeteries meeting of 5th March, however, the Council voted by 6 votes to 4 in favour of rejecting the planning application. One Councillor- Lee Walton was so strongly opposed to the decision that he tendered his resignation. The decision also prompted a strong reaction on social media.
The Council gave the public the option of collecting at least 10 signatures in favour of a bi-election, otherwise a new councillor would be co-opted by Councillors themselves (this is a considerably cheaper option). Enough members of the public opted to enforce the bi –election and so an election has been scheduled for 10th May (details on page 2). The Council will not be issuing polling cards as this is an expensive option which has proved ineffective in previous elections which have received very low turnouts.
Around 20 members of the public attended the Council meeting of 19th March and were given 15 minutes to ask questions. Two residents chose to challenge the planning decision, suggesting that the Council was “out of touch with the majority of residents” and urging them to reconsider their decision. The Mayor explained the Council’s reasoning which was firstly that the plans did not address the requests from many users of the Leisure Centre for the expansion of the swimming pool and secondly, that they were very concerned about the impact upon the town centre of removing more important services. Councillors also pointed out that it was quite likely that their objection would be ignored and that the application would be approved.
There were also requests from residents for some sort of memorial to the recently deceased, popular local resident Julian Bucknall, and for the painting of the speed bumps on Trinity Road.