Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is demanding that Warwick District Council reveals the amount of taxpayers' money it spent on its now-scrapped contract agreement with a private company as part of its controversial HQ relocation plans.
An outspoken and fierce opponent to the plans for the authority to replace the Covent Garden car park in Leamington with a new multi-storey car park and office building, Mr Western has reacted to the announcement yesterday (Tuesday September 3) that the council would no longer proceed with its limited liability partnership (LLP) agreement on the project with Public Sector PLC (PSP).
He said: “At long last, Conservative-led Warwick District Council has decided to scrap its contract agreement with PSP Warwick LLP for its proposed new Council offices.
"This has only come about because of public outrage and my petition.
"Unopposed, it would have happened.
"So thank you to the public for supporting the campaign and opposing this unnecessary vanity project.
"But two issues remain: the council still wants to build itself new offices and secondly it makes no mention of how many millions this has cost the taxpayer in wasted project costs and fees to PSP.
"The public should be assured that I have written to the council asking for full disclosure.
"The complete lack of transparency over the council's dealings with Public Sector PLC have been shocking from Day 1.
"I picked this up long before I was elected to Parliament.
"This kind of outsourcing and private involvement in the business of local authorities should always be subject to the highest possible scrutiny.
"Instead, the cloak and dagger nature of projects such as this are of concern to myself and residents in the district.
"It is imperative that the council now discloses how much taxpayer money has already been spent on dealings with PSP Warwick LLP.
"Additionally, the council is yet to commit to scrapping the Riverside House project entirely.
"Council fence-sitting over this project has gone on for long enough.
"The public does not support it particularly council taxhas been raised by five per cent - way ahead of incomes.
"I have been consistently vocal against the move, which in my view, and the view of many business owners in Leamington, would be seriously damaging to the local economy.
"I will continue to campaign against their relocation project, regardless of PSP Warwick's involvement.”