£600k South Oxhey Initiative has 'achieved nothing', says Councillor Ralph Sangster

Watford Observer: £600k South Oxhey Initiative has 'achieved nothing' £600k South Oxhey Initiative has 'achieved nothing'

The South Oxhey Initiative has cost more than £600,000 yet "achieved nothing", according to opposition politicians.

Three Rivers figures reveal that the project, which seeks to redevelop the centre of South Oxhey, has cost £629,198 over the last three years.

The district’s Conservative group have criticised the council’s Liberal Democrat administration for going ahead with the project at such a high cost to the taxpayer and with no viable developers on the horizon.

The opposition group’s leader, Ralph Sangster, said: "The Liberal Democrat and Labour groups are not prepared to listen to reason and are now applying Micawber Economics to the South Oxhey project.

"Having spent nearly £630,000 on achieving nothing, they now propose to spend thousands of pounds more on establishing a planning consent for a scheme which in its current form is not financially viable on the basis that something will turn up."

Housing associations, Thrive and Catalyst, have pulled their support for the project, which looks to bring 450 new homes to the estate.

Figures show that £100,223 was spent on "Master Planning", while "property advice" racked up a bill of £279,858 and "legal advice" has set the council back by £162,920.

A further £80,387 was spent on "architectural work" and £5,810 was spent on "other advice".

Leader of the council, Ann Shaw, said the costs incurred from the project so far are essential for the initiative to stand in good stead in the future.

The Liberal Democrat said: "It’s a complex scheme and we’ve had to get proper experience and professional advice from people outside the council. This costs money and when one does this sort of thing we do check that costs are similar to what is going on in other schemes.

"Compare the cost of the South Oxhey Initiative with the Watford Health Campus, for instance, and what we’ve spent in the last three years is equivalent to one year’s costs of the health campus.

"If you don’t get this sort of professional advice when you start, then you pay a much greater cost later on and I think residents are getting good value for money."

Stephen Cox, the district’s Labour group leader, added: "There’s no doubt it is a complex project, but the costs are ratcheting up and there’s been considerable expenditure on this with not much headway. Certainly residents and traders have seen no discernible delivery."

The council expects to submit an outline planning application in June, in the hope that a developer will show interest in the scheme after planning permission has been granted.

Councillor Sangster, representative for Moor Park and Eastbury, said: "The designs at the moment, which has had hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on, might not represent a scheme that actually works and putting a planning application in is going to be a cost lot of money on something that may never be built."

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:02pm Fri 10 Jan 14

TRT says...

"The designs at the moment, which has had hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on, might not represent a scheme that actually works and putting a planning application in is going to be a cost lot of money on something that may never be built."

Just like the new hospital, then.
"The designs at the moment, which has had hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on, might not represent a scheme that actually works and putting a planning application in is going to be a cost lot of money on something that may never be built." Just like the new hospital, then. TRT
  • Score: 3

1:17pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

TRT wrote:
"The designs at the moment, which has had hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on, might not represent a scheme that actually works and putting a planning application in is going to be a cost lot of money on something that may never be built."

Just like the new hospital, then.
Two dogs breakfasts, both dished up by neighbouring LibDem council authorites are compared to each other and found that they are both equally bad, but somehow that's ok in LibDemLand.

No surprise there then.

Vote UKIP. We must stop this madness.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: "The designs at the moment, which has had hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent on, might not represent a scheme that actually works and putting a planning application in is going to be a cost lot of money on something that may never be built." Just like the new hospital, then.[/p][/quote]Two dogs breakfasts, both dished up by neighbouring LibDem council authorites are compared to each other and found that they are both equally bad, but somehow that's ok in LibDemLand. No surprise there then. Vote UKIP. We must stop this madness. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -2

1:28pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

One other thing. How is it that there are no Labour or LibDem politicians around when you need them? I mean, when the County Council (Conservative run) makes a financial mess they are all over the press like a rash crowing about how the money has been wasted.

When it's their own politicians who are wasting money on a vast scale they are nowhere to be seen.

Come on Liberal Giles, what do you think about this monumental waste of money? Where is your indignation now?

The truth of the matter is that the old failed parties can only see harm in others, not in their own actions. By the same token the Tories were not complaining about financial ****-ups in County either. They are all as bad as each other.

It's about time for a more honest approach to politics. It's about time for UKIP.

Out of interest, how much money is lost to benefit fraud in Three Rivers?

Is it more or less than the amount of money say that is wasted by incompetence like this, or even the William Penn fiasco?

The point I am making is this. If you are cross at people ripping the council off by benefit fraud, you should be equally cross at politicians who spend money like water with nothing to show for it, for they are equally bad. One is dishonest. One is incompetent. Both should be punished, either at the courts or the polls.

Recently Labour MPs who did both they were punished in both places, which is as it should be.

As I said, it's time for UKIP.
One other thing. How is it that there are no Labour or LibDem politicians around when you need them? I mean, when the County Council (Conservative run) makes a financial mess they are all over the press like a rash crowing about how the money has been wasted. When it's their own politicians who are wasting money on a vast scale they are nowhere to be seen. Come on Liberal Giles, what do you think about this monumental waste of money? Where is your indignation now? The truth of the matter is that the old failed parties can only see harm in others, not in their own actions. By the same token the Tories were not complaining about financial ****-ups in County either. They are all as bad as each other. It's about time for a more honest approach to politics. It's about time for UKIP. Out of interest, how much money is lost to benefit fraud in Three Rivers? Is it more or less than the amount of money say that is wasted by incompetence like this, or even the William Penn fiasco? The point I am making is this. If you are cross at people ripping the council off by benefit fraud, you should be equally cross at politicians who spend money like water with nothing to show for it, for they are equally bad. One is dishonest. One is incompetent. Both should be punished, either at the courts or the polls. Recently Labour MPs who did both they were punished in both places, which is as it should be. As I said, it's time for UKIP. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 2

8:53am Sat 11 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

What South oxhey needs is a decent sized food discounter, Asda; Aldi or Lidl. Redesign the road network to reintroduce a road through the bleak pedestrianised centre. Put the buses through this new road. Stick the supermarket next to the railway station where the Barclays Bank is. Put the library in the old woolworths, put the Ox pub in the old Liptons. Put new flats on the library and pub site. No need to demolish the old shops and flats of the old centre. Just refurbish.
What South oxhey needs is a decent sized food discounter, Asda; Aldi or Lidl. Redesign the road network to reintroduce a road through the bleak pedestrianised centre. Put the buses through this new road. Stick the supermarket next to the railway station where the Barclays Bank is. Put the library in the old woolworths, put the Ox pub in the old Liptons. Put new flats on the library and pub site. No need to demolish the old shops and flats of the old centre. Just refurbish. Andrew1963
  • Score: -5

9:04am Sat 11 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Sounds like a plan. How much did that cost?
Sounds like a plan. How much did that cost? Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree