Warwick: Call for public inquiry into Racing Club saga
A TOWN councillor has called for a public inquiry into the on-going bitter row between the district council and Racing Club Warwick which he says is bringing the town into disrepute.
Cllr John Holland (Lab, Warwick West), stood up at a town council meeting on Wednesday and said: “If rents are being collected from two tenants for the same piece of land, is that not a contravention of the Fraud Act of 2006?”
Cllr Holland was referring to the district council’s leasing of the Racing Club premises to both the trustees of the club itself and the Ministry of Defence, which used half the building to train RAF and army cadets.
The controversial issue was also expected to be raised again last night (Thursday) when the district council was due to meet.
Last week the RAF moved all their equipment out of the building. The army cadets are also understood to have left. The district council believes this is because trustees of Racing Club have restricted their access to the premises in Hampton Road.
But vice-chairman Andy Cowlard maintains the club - where six football teams train and there is a bar and strong social element - has had a reasonable relationship with the individual cadets and their officers if not their occupation of the building.
He says the only reason the Ministry of Defence has moved everybody out is that senior officers have realised they did not hold a valid lease.
Cllr Holland told Wednesday’s meeting: “A number of people have said they collected rent from two tenants for the same land. Will the district council sort this out as it is bringing the town into disrepute?
“I would also like to ask if we can have a public inquiry where everybody who knows something about this can speak. Is it true that some documents have been shredded?”
Finally Cllr Holland suggested that members of the district council - who were last night due to nominate somebody to serve on the panel that will choose the new police commissioner - suspend this nomination until the whole issue of legality over Racing Club is resolved.
Andy Cowlard, who was at the meeting and able to ask questions as a member of the public, is still angry about the way changing rooms at the club were demolished. But he also wanted to know why football pitches on Warwick Common have still not been restored for use a year after the council stopped mowing.
District council deputy chief executive Andrew Jones said yesterday morning (Thursday): “We have taken legal advice and our position is that the council has done nothing illegal whatsoever.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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