The developers, THI, raised the alarm some time ago on (would you guess?) cash flow. Cash running out fast and the developers didn’t like that – what part they have played in putting together costs, timetables etc is unclear, but THI must have had some inkling at the outset that 2 + 2 made considerably more than 4. “More” appears to be c£750,000 over the amount required to complete – for the moment at least!

Immediate concerns must surely turn to the role of senior councillors in approving the bail out in the first place and having no idea where the extra cash would come from. Could they have in mind that bottomless pit – the SMBC taxpayers both domestic and business? Iain Roberts, the Regeneration Man, should have been aware of the problem, although his only commentary is that source of funds was uncertain. But that possibly would be the New Homes Bonus – a grant which central government makes to local government for increasing new homes. However, this must have been an obvious source in the beginning, and surely an application would be (correctly) rejected on the grounds that housing had been a major part of the original miscalculated scheme cost and, as such, could not be counted twice. Clearly incompetence on the councillors’ part lies at the heart of the problem.

Therefore, instead of agreeing to the bail out so readily, the Labour Group’s statement (of the obvious) that questions need to be answered should be taken seriously. The project shoudl be put on hold pending much more background being examined. No more blank cheques please!

For the record, who are THI and do they have Friends At Court – they seem to be the driving force where the Council is patently not.

Why does Offerton keep coming up in the news on redevelopment, disgraced shopping precincts etc?