Search results: "scrutiny"

SeaChange Sussex: absolutely no scrutiny from Hastings Borough Council

In 2013, Hastings Borough Council made a decision that an ‘annual briefing from the Chief Executive of SeaChange’ (that is to say, John Shaw) should be ‘made part of the annual Programme of Member training’.  However, a Freedom of Information request made recently by Combe Haven Defenders has revealed that three and a half years after that decision was made, no such briefing has taken place. Continue reading

Press release: Queensway Gateway road now rated high risk in three separate categories

Press release

Seachangewatch [1]

10 April 2018

Photo: QGR under construction http://seachangesussex.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/PB031292.jpg

Contact 07565 967 250

Queensway Gateway road now rated high risk in three separate categories

‘Negative reputation will continue longer term and be hard to recover from’, documents show

The Queensway Gateway road (QGR) is now considered high risk in three separate categories, according to a recent document from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). The document also states that the project’s negative reputation will continue longer term and be hard to recover from.

The Deliverability and Risk Assessment document [2], presented to SELEP on 16 March, rates various SELEP projects in terms of delivery, finances and reputation. The document shows [2, p63] that the QGR scores a five – the highest risk – in all three areas.

A score of five for ‘delivery’ means [2, p72] that:

‘Major issues have caused significant delays (more than 3 months); processes have been interrupted or not carried out correctly (e.g. planning permission has not been secured); or significant changes have had to be made to the aims and scope of the project. Project likely to under deliver forecast project outputs.’

According to the QGR consultation report [3], the road was due to open around a year after the Bexhill Hastings Link Road (BHLR). However, the BHLR opened over two years ago, whilst the QGR is still a significant way off being finished.

A score of five for ‘finances’ means [2, p72] that the project is at least 10% over budget. The QGR is now 100% over budget, having increased in cost from £6m to £12m [4].

And a score of five for ‘reputation’ [2, p72] means that:

‘Challenges with project are undermining LEP credibility with public or key stakeholder. This negative reputation will continue longer term and be hard to recover from.’

In order to meet the £6m cost increase, £2m has been taken from the budget for walking and cycling in Hastings and Bexhill [4]. Local environmental group Combe Haven Defenders warned [5] almost two years ago that the QGR was underfunded and that costs were likely to rise.

Andrea Needham, spokesperson for Seachangewatch, said, “The Queensway Gateway road is turning out to be a financial and environmental disaster. It is vastly over-budget, significantly behind schedule, and extremely unlikely to create the jobs that SeaChange Sussex has claimed for it. It was never subject to proper scrutiny from either East Sussex County Council or Hastings Borough Council, and now is putting the reputations of all those involved at risk. Both councils need to refuse to give the green light to any more of SeaChange’s disastrous projects.”

NOTES

[1] http://seachangesussex.info/

[2] http://www.southeastlep.com/images/uploads/resources/SELEP_Accountability_Board_Agenda_Pack_16th_March_2018.pdf

[3] http://seachangesussex.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/QGRconsultation-report.pdf

[4] http://seachangesussex.info/2m-funding-cut-walking-cycling-fund-queensway-gateway-road-100-cost-increase/

[5] https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/press-release-residents-demand-answers-over-inflated-costs-for-hastings-road-2/

Miscellaneous posts

SeaChange Sussex: absolutely no scrutiny from Hastings Borough Council September 2016

SeaChange projects: opacity built in? November 2015

SeaChange projects running late: when will the jobs arrive? March 2015

Enviro 21: 500 jobs promised, 24 jobs created March 2015

What is Seachangewatch?

Seachangewatch has been set up by residents of Hastings and St Leonards, concerned about SeaChange Sussex, the ‘not-for-profit regeneration company’ in our town.  We believe there is a serious lack of accountability and transparency in SeaChange’s activities, as well as a complete lack of consideration of the environmental impact of their projects on our green spaces. Continue reading

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