Dear Sir,

After reading Bob Flemming’s report in last weeks Newton News regarding the West Ward Regeneration, I have a few questions.

On the 22/2/18 Livin had a meeting with Councillor Chandrun and at this meeting they stated that because the West Ward was five times bigger than the York Hill Estate it would be untenable to put a charge on properties.

But after reading Bob Flemmings report isn’t this near enough exactly what Livin are offering now. The only difference being that instead of a fixed amount being payable on the sale of a house it’s a percentage instead. In the report it states that “It was confirmed that it is Livin’s intention that they will have no additional rent nor mortgage to take out to purchase the property outright through shared equity arrangements that Livin would try to put in place.

The value of their current house would be offset against the value of the new property and used to calculate the shared equity value i.e. the residents stake in the value of the house. It was pointed out that the equity in the property would be more likely to increase following regeneration as housing values would increase rather than stagnate and decrease as is the case now. Livin would own the remaining share of the property.

If the property was sold in the future the proceeds would be shared between Livin and the resident based on shared equity”

So what has changed since February and now – have Livin scooped the top prize on a few scratchcards, had a really good few nights at Gala Bingo, or done a few lucky fifteens?

What’s the catch, Phrases like there is no such thing as a free lunch, and if a deal seems too good to be true then it usually suddenly springs to mind.

Is this not simply an attempt by Livin to placate west ward residents and the Town Council after being caught with their proverbial pants down following Councillor Chandrun obtaining their original bid and exposing it?

The report also stated that “Livin went on to express concern at some of what they perceived to be incorrect information being published in the local media and distributed to local residents, which they felt was undermining their consultation and muddying the waters”

Now this is not true, since all this has started the information published in the Newton News which has been both truthful and factual with clear documentary evidence to back things up. The people who write in are concerned residents who are deeply worried about the whole situation. Newton News is allowing these people to express their concerns in exactly the same way as those residents who are in favour of Option 3.

In fact the only people who have muddied the waters so to speak are Livin themselves. They say they have spent the last five weeks fire fighting rumours but wouldn’t a more correct euphemism be that for the last five weeks they have been doing damage limitation?

In recent weeks we have also learnt that option 2 may involve partial demolition, and now that within option 3 there are a number of subsequent options. Is this not simply adding to the confusion and are we going to reach a stage where nobody is not going to know what the hell they are really voting for or against?

Name and address supplied