I would like to support Cllr Margaret Lakin-Whitworth’s comments regarding the De Aston Field purchase.
I am writing now as Thomas Smith’s negative appraisal needs to be corrected.
Market Rasen Town Council (MRTC) was not a party to the Section 106 Agreements that West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) signed with various developers which specified ‘De Aston Field Contributions’. As an ‘outside’ authority the Town Council found it extremely difficult to get to the bottom of what was going on in 2008-09.
Later on with the deadline looming for much of the money to be used or returned – WLDC ‘passed’ responsibility for the purchase of De Aston Field to Market Rasen Town Council – which meant that WLDC avoided difficult questions such as ‘Why was WLDC paid £90,000 by developers through Section 106 agreements for the purchase, improvement and upkeep of De Aston Field – when WLDC had no agreement or understanding in principle with the owner of De Aston Field (Lincolnshire County Council).
This undoubtedly would have emerged as a pretty big oversight if WLDC had had to directly negotiate the purchase.
In Oct 2008 I started asking for details of the De Aston Field Section 106 funding held by West Lindsey DC when I was Deputy Mayor.
WLDC prevaricated over how much money they had received from this agreement. Even subsequent requests made by the Market Rasen Mail resulted in the then editor informing me that “ The WLDC response frankly doesn’t answer a thing and raised more questions than it answers.”
Five years on and WLDC accounting remains opaque to say the least.
Recently I called in on WLDC to use my right as an elector to examine their books.
I was refused access on my first visit even though doing so is a criminal offence. I returned two days later and found their accounting appeared to lack consistency. No wonder they can’t work out what happens to funds for specific projects.
King Street Market Rasen