Two interesting characters have evolved this week - a week filled with intrigue and subterfuge and lots of whispers rattling around the small market town. Both are directly or indirectly linked with the proposed development in Hay-on-Wye - which now appears to also involve ripping up playing fields, tennis courts and a Brownie hut for a large retail park all in the name of a school for 200.
First up, councillor Gareth Ratcliffe who hosted the town meeting last week at Booths Books and spoke during the 120 minute gathering of ardent anti-retail supporters. Seems apparent now that he is actually for the development, judging by the minutes of a council meeting in August, as documented from the official minutes below. Funny...he never mentioned this at the open meeting. FYI, I assume GD is Gaufron Developments and HDSCA is Hay and District Sports and Community Association.
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE CABINET HELD AT COUNTY HALL, LLANDRINDOD WELLS ON 23RD AUGUST 2011
The Cabinet considered a report on development proposals at Hay-on-Wye. County Councillor G. W. Ratcliffe spoke as a local member. He advised that he supported the proposals in principle.
10. HAY ON WYE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
C71 - 2011
Reason for Decision:
To authorise the Portfolio Holders and relevant officers to conclude negotiations around the detailed provisions of the requisite options agreements with GD and HDSCA with a view to bringing those final option agreements to a future meeting of the Cabinet for final agreement.
To defer for the time being consideration of the relocation to the new site of the additional facilities i.e. the library, youth centre.
To proceed to consult on the transfer of the whole of the Council's recreation ground and its facilities e.g. sports pavilion, tennis courts, bowling green, football pitch and cricket pitch.
To seek Council approval for virement of funds to the Schools Capital Programme due to the size of the project.
To ask officers with the relevant Portfolio Holders to draw up a communications plan regarding how the decisions made to date be communicated.
Character number two is Simon Hoare, who has had an interesting piece recently on WalesOnline.
He made a written statement on behalf of Gaufron Developments (who have worked closely with Tesco in other Welsh developments) which was handed out at the Booths Bookshop meeting.
Curiouser and curiouser....