Charles Street development may require an additional £2million from council

REDEVELOPMENT: Robert Gould

REDEVELOPMENT: Robert Gould

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

WEST Dorset District Council could be forced to shell out a further £2million to support the second phase of Dorchester’s Charles Street development.

A report going before councillors next week reveals that phase two of the controversial town centre development is still not viable in the eyes of developer Simons.

That assessment is despite the fact that the council agreed in October 2012 to spend up to £2million on preparatory works on behalf of Simons and retail giant Marks and Spencer signing up to take the second anchor store in the scheme.

Members of the council’s efficiency scrutiny committee will be asked at their meeting next week to agree a series of recommendations including that, subject to due diligence, the council agrees to underwrite 50 per cent of the ‘financial gap to viability’ up to a maximum of £2.062million should it be necessary.

The cost of underwriting any shortfall would be funded from the council’s reserves and officers claim bringing forward the development would bring forward financial advantages to the council through business rates, council tax, new homes bonuses and parking income.

The report also reveals that Simons is also asking for changes to the amount of parking provided on site, with the developer willing to provide 300 spaces as well as making a financial contribution for the council to provide spaces elsewhere.

However, council officers are keen to ensure that the maximum spaces number of spaces on site of around 470 are retained in the scheme and are asking members to put forward a recommendation to that effect.

Local district councillor Andy Canning, who is a member of the efficiency scrutiny committee, admitted that the council faced a ‘difficult decision’.

He said: “Clearly we want the development to go ahead – we want the larger shops, we want the extra visitors and shoppers to come into the town.

“But it will be at a cost of nearly £2million from the council’s reserves.

“On balance I think because we now seem to have signed up some major names for the site I think it probably is worth spending the extra £2m so the project goes ahead.”

Coun Canning said it was also imperative that the council ensured the maximum number of car parking spaces possible were retained on the site, both during construction and when the scheme is completed.

Fellow councillor Alistair Chisholm agreed that the parking was crucial but slammed the proposal to allocate more public funds to Simons.

He said: “I think it’s absolutely extraordinary.

“It just seems as though the bucket of public money that is being held by West Dorset District Council is not serving its purpose, it seems riddled with holes.

“This is a valuable resource that we know is getting smaller and smaller is quickly draining away to fill the gaps in what we were promised was going to be a private sector development.”

Coun Chisholm added: “Of course we all want to see something happening on Charles Street but at what cost?”

Leader of West Dorset District Council Robert Gould said: “The redevelopment of Charles Street is a long held ambition of the district council bringing new, bigger Marks and Spencer and Waitrose stores, creating around 600 new jobs, parking spaces and a real boost to the wider local economy.

“It also has the potential to generate significant income for the council through business rates, council tax, parking income as well as the new homes bonus.

“The benefits of the scheme are significant for the local area but unfortunately the poor economic climate of recent years has caused progress to stall.

“The council is considering allocating funds from its capital reserves to underwrite the financial viability gap to help give the developer confidence to take the scheme forward.

“A decision will not be made until February when the matter will be considered by full council.”

THE TIMELINE

1973: Plans for a new-look Dorchester town centre first touted, a proposed redevelopment was abandoned a year later because it was seen as too ambitious.

Late 1980s: A scheme to build a two-storey shopping mall on Charles Street put forward by developers but falls down after the collapse of the property market.

Late 1990s: Developers Helical put forward plans to redevelop the site with department stores, around 25 smaller shops, an extension to Waitrose and housing but the scheme was abandoned in 2000 after failing to secure a flagship store.

September 2006: Simons selected by the district council as preferred developer for the site.

August 2007: Representatives from Simons and West Dorset District Council put pen to paper on a development agreement, which sets out how the developers and council will take the site forward.

July 2009: Opposition councillors voice anger after council announces Simons as preferred developer for new office scheme. Simons release first artist's impression of what new offices will look like.

September 28, 2010: Members of West Dorset District Council’s development control committee approve full planning application for council office and library block and grant outline permission for the rest of the scheme.

June 6, 2011: Work begins on site.

November 2011: Waitrose agrees terms on lease for Charles Street anchor store.

October 2012: Despite opposition from residents and some members, the council backs plans to spend £2million of public money on preparatory works for the Charles Street phase two scheme, including relocating the Dorchester Community Church. The authority also approves amendments to the plans that include replacing a proposed hotel with 24 apartments and scrapping the lower deck of basement car parking with additional parking provided at the Fairfield Market car park instead.

December 2012: Council staff begin moving into new offices at South Walks House, with the move completed and offices open to the public by the end of January 2013.

September 2013: Simons submits application to extend outline planning permission for phase two of the scheme as original permission is set to expire.

December 2013: Planning permission is extended for two years.

January 2014: Marks and Spencer announced as second anchor store.

Comments (41)

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7:18am Fri 17 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

Seems like excellent value to me. Taxpayer takes half the risk, developer takes all the profit. Having railroaded the development to date, Gould is now asking the full council to vote on it, no doubt so he can blame democracy if the council votes for or against.
Personally I'd be ringing Andrew Wadsworth at brewery square and asking him for some help. He's a local fellow, he's got vision and he's managed more in four years than the council has in 30.
Seems like excellent value to me. Taxpayer takes half the risk, developer takes all the profit. Having railroaded the development to date, Gould is now asking the full council to vote on it, no doubt so he can blame democracy if the council votes for or against. Personally I'd be ringing Andrew Wadsworth at brewery square and asking him for some help. He's a local fellow, he's got vision and he's managed more in four years than the council has in 30. JamesYoung
  • Score: 29

8:43am Fri 17 Jan 14

cj07589 says...

Incompetence again!
Incompetence again! cj07589
  • Score: 15

9:06am Fri 17 Jan 14

David_divenghy2 says...

Ah that'll be another council tax rise again so civil servants can sit pretty and comfy offices and not have to walk to far to the bakery :-)
Ah that'll be another council tax rise again so civil servants can sit pretty and comfy offices and not have to walk to far to the bakery :-) David_divenghy2
  • Score: 2

9:23am Fri 17 Jan 14

Ageed / not agreed says...

mention of increased revenue through parking income - I doubt it - I already go to bigger shopping areas with more choice and free parking! (the cost of parking for a day covers the petrol to get there).
mention of increased revenue through parking income - I doubt it - I already go to bigger shopping areas with more choice and free parking! (the cost of parking for a day covers the petrol to get there). Ageed / not agreed
  • Score: 3

9:24am Fri 17 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

When you write £2 million, it looks nothing, when you work out that is x amount on the rates it gives a different impact. To have an M & S and Waitrose and 600 low paid jobs (how many of the jobs give someone the ability to live only on the wages they recive from the new jobs). Nice to have more shops but keep spending our money on this i think will not stack up.
When you write £2 million, it looks nothing, when you work out that is x amount on the rates it gives a different impact. To have an M & S and Waitrose and 600 low paid jobs (how many of the jobs give someone the ability to live only on the wages they recive from the new jobs). Nice to have more shops but keep spending our money on this i think will not stack up. smilealoft44
  • Score: 5

9:47am Fri 17 Jan 14

leo210856 says...

I really doubt that the number of new jobs (600) stacks up.
Correct me if I am wrong but this was the number quoted before Waitrose & M&S were signed up so unless these two outlets recruit significant additional staff then the number takes a hit immediately.
Ok some will say but the vacated store/stores will bring in new business but I for one really doubt that any of the major chains will be looking to take say the current M&S store in South Street.
Once the WDDC agreed to frank the first £2 million the message, no doubt, would have been clear to the developers that here we have a local authority so out of their depth, so keen to see something here it really is licence for us to print money.
Clearly Mr Gould , by putting this to the full council, sees the need to get others to rubberstamp the proposal so how about all local councillors going by way of a proper and auditable process, to those they purport to represent and take forward the views of the voters as opposed to voting along the usual party lines!
I really doubt that the number of new jobs (600) stacks up. Correct me if I am wrong but this was the number quoted before Waitrose & M&S were signed up so unless these two outlets recruit significant additional staff then the number takes a hit immediately. Ok some will say but the vacated store/stores will bring in new business but I for one really doubt that any of the major chains will be looking to take say the current M&S store in South Street. Once the WDDC agreed to frank the first £2 million the message, no doubt, would have been clear to the developers that here we have a local authority so out of their depth, so keen to see something here it really is licence for us to print money. Clearly Mr Gould , by putting this to the full council, sees the need to get others to rubberstamp the proposal so how about all local councillors going by way of a proper and auditable process, to those they purport to represent and take forward the views of the voters as opposed to voting along the usual party lines! leo210856
  • Score: 12

9:54am Fri 17 Jan 14

RobinofLocksley says...

Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?
Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores? RobinofLocksley
  • Score: 5

10:16am Fri 17 Jan 14

Uptonian2 says...

Wow! I can't believe the time taken....it's no wonder nothing gets done quickly, we're so far behind everyone else it's unreal..
Wow! I can't believe the time taken....it's no wonder nothing gets done quickly, we're so far behind everyone else it's unreal.. Uptonian2
  • Score: 2

10:53am Fri 17 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

RobinofLocksley wrote:
Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?
Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.
[quote][p][bold]RobinofLocksley[/bold] wrote: Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?[/p][/quote]Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise. JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

10:58am Fri 17 Jan 14

Get a grip says...

JamesYoung wrote:
RobinofLocksley wrote:
Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?
Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.
Tudor arcade was sold on a couple of years ago
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RobinofLocksley[/bold] wrote: Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?[/p][/quote]Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.[/p][/quote]Tudor arcade was sold on a couple of years ago Get a grip
  • Score: 1

10:59am Fri 17 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

leo210856 wrote:
I really doubt that the number of new jobs (600) stacks up.
Correct me if I am wrong but this was the number quoted before Waitrose & M&S were signed up so unless these two outlets recruit significant additional staff then the number takes a hit immediately.
Ok some will say but the vacated store/stores will bring in new business but I for one really doubt that any of the major chains will be looking to take say the current M&S store in South Street.
Once the WDDC agreed to frank the first £2 million the message, no doubt, would have been clear to the developers that here we have a local authority so out of their depth, so keen to see something here it really is licence for us to print money.
Clearly Mr Gould , by putting this to the full council, sees the need to get others to rubberstamp the proposal so how about all local councillors going by way of a proper and auditable process, to those they purport to represent and take forward the views of the voters as opposed to voting along the usual party lines!
Agreed, the number of new jobs sounds like it has been exaggerated. I've noticed a tendency to include short term jobs (i.e., building labourers) in these numbers as well.
What we do know is that M&S employs 85,000 people worldwide, with 1036 stores, giving an average of 76 per store. This is a simple average, so makes no attempt at distinguishing between store sizes, and it includes warehouse staff, lorry drivers, accountants, in house lawyers, sales and marketing people, buyers, etc, etc. Nonetheless, if we assume an average store employs 76 staff, and this new store will need 50% more, then we are creating around 38 new jobs for M&S. Waitrose is more difficult to estimate, because their staff numbers are included in JLP figures, and JLP have lots of much bigger department stores, but i would think it's safe to safe that they won't employ more than a hundred people in total, so another 30-40 too.
So it sounds to me like the two anchor stores will create less than 100 new jobs between them. Add on maybe another 20 low paid jobs for things like cleaning and maintenance of the whole development, and you are looking for the other stores going onto the site to create 480 new full time jobs.
Which sounds optimistic.
Then, of course, you have to factor in the jobs lost as businesses die in the main street....
[quote][p][bold]leo210856[/bold] wrote: I really doubt that the number of new jobs (600) stacks up. Correct me if I am wrong but this was the number quoted before Waitrose & M&S were signed up so unless these two outlets recruit significant additional staff then the number takes a hit immediately. Ok some will say but the vacated store/stores will bring in new business but I for one really doubt that any of the major chains will be looking to take say the current M&S store in South Street. Once the WDDC agreed to frank the first £2 million the message, no doubt, would have been clear to the developers that here we have a local authority so out of their depth, so keen to see something here it really is licence for us to print money. Clearly Mr Gould , by putting this to the full council, sees the need to get others to rubberstamp the proposal so how about all local councillors going by way of a proper and auditable process, to those they purport to represent and take forward the views of the voters as opposed to voting along the usual party lines![/p][/quote]Agreed, the number of new jobs sounds like it has been exaggerated. I've noticed a tendency to include short term jobs (i.e., building labourers) in these numbers as well. What we do know is that M&S employs 85,000 people worldwide, with 1036 stores, giving an average of 76 per store. This is a simple average, so makes no attempt at distinguishing between store sizes, and it includes warehouse staff, lorry drivers, accountants, in house lawyers, sales and marketing people, buyers, etc, etc. Nonetheless, if we assume an average store employs 76 staff, and this new store will need 50% more, then we are creating around 38 new jobs for M&S. Waitrose is more difficult to estimate, because their staff numbers are included in JLP figures, and JLP have lots of much bigger department stores, but i would think it's safe to safe that they won't employ more than a hundred people in total, so another 30-40 too. So it sounds to me like the two anchor stores will create less than 100 new jobs between them. Add on maybe another 20 low paid jobs for things like cleaning and maintenance of the whole development, and you are looking for the other stores going onto the site to create 480 new full time jobs. Which sounds optimistic. Then, of course, you have to factor in the jobs lost as businesses die in the main street.... JamesYoung
  • Score: 11

11:41am Fri 17 Jan 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

What strikes me is one day the County Council is bleating over having to make cuts to save money and now the District Council has £2,000,000 in reserves to pay for a shopping area that will still not match what Poole has to offer??

What money is available in all Council's reserves to offset cut backs and isn't it time to look at a unitary council for all of Dorset to save a lot of top tier and some middle management plus less Councillors?
What strikes me is one day the County Council is bleating over having to make cuts to save money and now the District Council has £2,000,000 in reserves to pay for a shopping area that will still not match what Poole has to offer?? What money is available in all Council's reserves to offset cut backs and isn't it time to look at a unitary council for all of Dorset to save a lot of top tier and some middle management plus less Councillors? Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: 4

11:52am Fri 17 Jan 14

Dorset stuff says...

Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.
Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change. Dorset stuff
  • Score: -3

12:36pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

Well said Dorset stuff, perhaps tax payers should organise themselves to campaign for a unitary authority, I'm sure that's how Bournemouth operates
Well said Dorset stuff, perhaps tax payers should organise themselves to campaign for a unitary authority, I'm sure that's how Bournemouth operates Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: -3

12:52pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Tinker2 says...

Zummerzet Lad wrote:
Well said Dorset stuff, perhaps tax payers should organise themselves to campaign for a unitary authority, I'm sure that's how Bournemouth operates
Yes, Poole & Bournemouth are 'Unitary'. Nearby Wiltshire and Cornwall are both Unitary Authorities. We should indeed push for one here!
[quote][p][bold]Zummerzet Lad[/bold] wrote: Well said Dorset stuff, perhaps tax payers should organise themselves to campaign for a unitary authority, I'm sure that's how Bournemouth operates[/p][/quote]Yes, Poole & Bournemouth are 'Unitary'. Nearby Wiltshire and Cornwall are both Unitary Authorities. We should indeed push for one here! Tinker2
  • Score: 5

12:54pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Dorset Boy says...

Dorset stuff wrote:
Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.
Dorset stuff. Can I put the records straight. Councillor Gould is not a relation of the Gould shop empire. He is a farmer from near Sherborne
[quote][p][bold]Dorset stuff[/bold] wrote: Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.[/p][/quote]Dorset stuff. Can I put the records straight. Councillor Gould is not a relation of the Gould shop empire. He is a farmer from near Sherborne Dorset Boy
  • Score: 13

1:08pm Fri 17 Jan 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up.
Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings?
The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o))
You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)!
Outdated
Too small
Not fit for purpose
In the wrong place
Too big
Lack the necessary facilities
Not environmentally suitable
Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)
It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up. Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings? The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o)) You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)! Outdated Too small Not fit for purpose In the wrong place Too big Lack the necessary facilities Not environmentally suitable Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons) IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Fri 17 Jan 14

mr commonsense says...

Should anybody be surprised? Whatever WDDC (Clr Gould) has said has always been suspect and now we the taxpayers are going to have lose another large chunk of our savings.
This sad business is a perfect example of a developer holding the freeholder
To ransom.
Where can we see the full scale of what is being proposed ? Where will 500 cars be parked?
If this proposed development were thought through the only possible solution
Would have been to incorporate South Street. As it stands at the moment there will be 3 separate parts of the town not linked all competing for footfall but then would we believe any local politician to understand this?
Should anybody be surprised? Whatever WDDC (Clr Gould) has said has always been suspect and now we the taxpayers are going to have lose another large chunk of our savings. This sad business is a perfect example of a developer holding the freeholder To ransom. Where can we see the full scale of what is being proposed ? Where will 500 cars be parked? If this proposed development were thought through the only possible solution Would have been to incorporate South Street. As it stands at the moment there will be 3 separate parts of the town not linked all competing for footfall but then would we believe any local politician to understand this? mr commonsense
  • Score: 1

2:03pm Fri 17 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote:
It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up.
Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings?
The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o))
You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)!
Outdated
Too small
Not fit for purpose
In the wrong place
Too big
Lack the necessary facilities
Not environmentally suitable
Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)
I think the assumption that the unitary authority would choose to stay in Dorchester is probably questionable. Far more likely, i would think, would be a move towards the big Bournemouth/Poole conurbation.
I have little doubt that the savings would be massive.
[quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up. Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings? The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o)) You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)! Outdated Too small Not fit for purpose In the wrong place Too big Lack the necessary facilities Not environmentally suitable Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)[/p][/quote]I think the assumption that the unitary authority would choose to stay in Dorchester is probably questionable. Far more likely, i would think, would be a move towards the big Bournemouth/Poole conurbation. I have little doubt that the savings would be massive. JamesYoung
  • Score: 3

2:59pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Tinker2 says...

JamesYoung wrote:
IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote: It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up. Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings? The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o)) You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)! Outdated Too small Not fit for purpose In the wrong place Too big Lack the necessary facilities Not environmentally suitable Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)
I think the assumption that the unitary authority would choose to stay in Dorchester is probably questionable. Far more likely, i would think, would be a move towards the big Bournemouth/Poole conurbation. I have little doubt that the savings would be massive.
Massive savings indeed, (following some initial setting up capital costs) and likely improvements to services as there would be more money left in the pot.
Trouble is you would be asking 'turkeys to vote for Christmas', because effectively you would be asking the WDDC to vote for their demise. Sadly I don't think Mr Gould and his executive committee would be wanting to walk out of their self-adorning new offices anytime soon?
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up. Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings? The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o)) You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)! Outdated Too small Not fit for purpose In the wrong place Too big Lack the necessary facilities Not environmentally suitable Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)[/p][/quote]I think the assumption that the unitary authority would choose to stay in Dorchester is probably questionable. Far more likely, i would think, would be a move towards the big Bournemouth/Poole conurbation. I have little doubt that the savings would be massive.[/p][/quote]Massive savings indeed, (following some initial setting up capital costs) and likely improvements to services as there would be more money left in the pot. Trouble is you would be asking 'turkeys to vote for Christmas', because effectively you would be asking the WDDC to vote for their demise. Sadly I don't think Mr Gould and his executive committee would be wanting to walk out of their self-adorning new offices anytime soon? Tinker2
  • Score: 2

3:28pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

Tinker2 wrote:
JamesYoung wrote:
IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE wrote: It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up. Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings? The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o)) You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)! Outdated Too small Not fit for purpose In the wrong place Too big Lack the necessary facilities Not environmentally suitable Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)
I think the assumption that the unitary authority would choose to stay in Dorchester is probably questionable. Far more likely, i would think, would be a move towards the big Bournemouth/Poole conurbation. I have little doubt that the savings would be massive.
Massive savings indeed, (following some initial setting up capital costs) and likely improvements to services as there would be more money left in the pot.
Trouble is you would be asking 'turkeys to vote for Christmas', because effectively you would be asking the WDDC to vote for their demise. Sadly I don't think Mr Gould and his executive committee would be wanting to walk out of their self-adorning new offices anytime soon?
They were quite happy for loss of top tier WDDC and W&PC posts to go with the link between both these councils and the Councillors could go for election in new set up
[quote][p][bold]Tinker2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE[/bold] wrote: It might be interesting to know how much redundancy packages would cost if a unitary authority was set up. Would these and set-up costs (in the short term) be more than the long term savings? The squeals from unnecessary counsellors and other unneeded people from duplicated jobs would probably be heard as far away as Lunnon (:o)) You do all realise that a unitary authority would need another new set of offices built for them because they would say that existing offices are (pick any from the following list)! Outdated Too small Not fit for purpose In the wrong place Too big Lack the necessary facilities Not environmentally suitable Unsuitable (for unspecified reasons)[/p][/quote]I think the assumption that the unitary authority would choose to stay in Dorchester is probably questionable. Far more likely, i would think, would be a move towards the big Bournemouth/Poole conurbation. I have little doubt that the savings would be massive.[/p][/quote]Massive savings indeed, (following some initial setting up capital costs) and likely improvements to services as there would be more money left in the pot. Trouble is you would be asking 'turkeys to vote for Christmas', because effectively you would be asking the WDDC to vote for their demise. Sadly I don't think Mr Gould and his executive committee would be wanting to walk out of their self-adorning new offices anytime soon?[/p][/quote]They were quite happy for loss of top tier WDDC and W&PC posts to go with the link between both these councils and the Councillors could go for election in new set up Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: 1

4:05pm Fri 17 Jan 14

David_divenghy2 says...

Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?
Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed? David_divenghy2
  • Score: 13

6:36pm Fri 17 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

David_divenghy2 wrote:
Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?
That didnot go unnoticed.
[quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?[/p][/quote]That didnot go unnoticed. smilealoft44
  • Score: 3

7:30pm Fri 17 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

David_divenghy2 wrote:
Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?
Indeed. The power of advertising revenue.
For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion.
Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).
[quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?[/p][/quote]Indeed. The power of advertising revenue. For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion. Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase). JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

7:37pm Fri 17 Jan 14

David_divenghy2 says...

JamesYoung wrote:
David_divenghy2 wrote:
Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?
Indeed. The power of advertising revenue.
For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion.
Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).
Money talks, democracy walks.

The biggest irony is doing what they have done with the comments in the Portland council tax article, they have now made peoples opinions and concerns about the integrity of certain Councillors, indeed the Town Council as a whole, much more valid.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?[/p][/quote]Indeed. The power of advertising revenue. For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion. Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).[/p][/quote]Money talks, democracy walks. The biggest irony is doing what they have done with the comments in the Portland council tax article, they have now made peoples opinions and concerns about the integrity of certain Councillors, indeed the Town Council as a whole, much more valid. David_divenghy2
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Fri 17 Jan 14

TheNinjaPirate says...

JamesYoung wrote:
RobinofLocksley wrote:
Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?
Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.
Yeah, they're an investment firm called Ignis based in Canary Wharf. So because they're an investment firm it's in their interest to drive rents up as high as humanly possible to keep their investors happy. That plus rates rises is a truly awful combination.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RobinofLocksley[/bold] wrote: Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?[/p][/quote]Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.[/p][/quote]Yeah, they're an investment firm called Ignis based in Canary Wharf. So because they're an investment firm it's in their interest to drive rents up as high as humanly possible to keep their investors happy. That plus rates rises is a truly awful combination. TheNinjaPirate
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Fri 17 Jan 14

dontbuyit says...

Back to Charles St and is it too much to expect the councillors (not our councillors) to have considered the impact on business in South St, currently a thriving commercial community hub where familiar faces can be seen daily. There is still a great mix of chains and independent small shops that give Dorchester a big chunk of its personality. Will this dissapear and be replaced by charity and betting shops while the chains migrate to Charles St and Brewery Sq turning our town into another anytown UK. Or will the council encourage investment in South St to retain its business mix and develop in tandem with Charles St. We can't stop them spending our money but maybe we can steer them in the direction we want to see this unique town grow.
Back to Charles St and is it too much to expect the councillors (not our councillors) to have considered the impact on business in South St, currently a thriving commercial community hub where familiar faces can be seen daily. There is still a great mix of chains and independent small shops that give Dorchester a big chunk of its personality. Will this dissapear and be replaced by charity and betting shops while the chains migrate to Charles St and Brewery Sq turning our town into another anytown UK. Or will the council encourage investment in South St to retain its business mix and develop in tandem with Charles St. We can't stop them spending our money but maybe we can steer them in the direction we want to see this unique town grow. dontbuyit
  • Score: 4

8:42pm Fri 17 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

David_divenghy2 wrote:
JamesYoung wrote:
David_divenghy2 wrote:
Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?
Indeed. The power of advertising revenue.
For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion.
Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).
Money talks, democracy walks.

The biggest irony is doing what they have done with the comments in the Portland council tax article, they have now made peoples opinions and concerns about the integrity of certain Councillors, indeed the Town Council as a whole, much more valid.
Then lets hope that we can vote in someone with no confict of interest. Someone who stands for the good of the local people, all of them.
[quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?[/p][/quote]Indeed. The power of advertising revenue. For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion. Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).[/p][/quote]Money talks, democracy walks. The biggest irony is doing what they have done with the comments in the Portland council tax article, they have now made peoples opinions and concerns about the integrity of certain Councillors, indeed the Town Council as a whole, much more valid.[/p][/quote]Then lets hope that we can vote in someone with no confict of interest. Someone who stands for the good of the local people, all of them. smilealoft44
  • Score: 2

10:27pm Fri 17 Jan 14

CoogarUK.com says...

The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.
The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 6

10:40pm Fri 17 Jan 14

CoogarUK.com says...

Get a grip wrote:
JamesYoung wrote:
RobinofLocksley wrote:
Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?
Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.
Tudor arcade was sold on a couple of years ago
Tudor Arcade is owned by the Ignis UK Property Fund, in which I am a small investor. Not sure if the Waitrose store forms part of the holding.
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RobinofLocksley[/bold] wrote: Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?[/p][/quote]Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.[/p][/quote]Tudor arcade was sold on a couple of years ago[/p][/quote]Tudor Arcade is owned by the Ignis UK Property Fund, in which I am a small investor. Not sure if the Waitrose store forms part of the holding. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 3

10:41am Sat 18 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

smilealoft44 wrote:
David_divenghy2 wrote:
JamesYoung wrote:
David_divenghy2 wrote:
Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?
Indeed. The power of advertising revenue.
For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion.
Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).
Money talks, democracy walks.

The biggest irony is doing what they have done with the comments in the Portland council tax article, they have now made peoples opinions and concerns about the integrity of certain Councillors, indeed the Town Council as a whole, much more valid.
Then lets hope that we can vote in someone with no confict of interest. Someone who stands for the good of the local people, all of them.
I used to think like that; now i'm convinced that anybody who wants to stand for Parliament is either doing so because they want power, or soon become dazzled by the perks.
There have been one or two decent MPs over the years who have turned down expenses or drawn the average wage for their area (mostly Labour, it has to be said), but far too few.
Can i honestly say if i were elected to Parliament i wouldn't become like them. I'd like to hope not but who knows.
[quote][p][bold]smilealoft44[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David_divenghy2[/bold] wrote: Talking of councils and as total censorship is in place on the portland council tax story, is it me or is that a bit of coincidence that Councillor Munro while saying him and none of the Councillors asked for the censorship of comments, gets to make the last comment before all comments on the article were closed?[/p][/quote]Indeed. The power of advertising revenue. For the same reason, the Echo have steadfastly refused to publish several letters i have sent to them over the last couple of years, refuting the statements made by estate agents about rising prices in the W&D area, which were at the time factually untrue and clearly designed to stimulate the market. I even included a spreadsheet on one occasion. Again, ad revenue takes precedence over ethics (in that case, encouraging first time buyers to rush into a house purchase).[/p][/quote]Money talks, democracy walks. The biggest irony is doing what they have done with the comments in the Portland council tax article, they have now made peoples opinions and concerns about the integrity of certain Councillors, indeed the Town Council as a whole, much more valid.[/p][/quote]Then lets hope that we can vote in someone with no confict of interest. Someone who stands for the good of the local people, all of them.[/p][/quote]I used to think like that; now i'm convinced that anybody who wants to stand for Parliament is either doing so because they want power, or soon become dazzled by the perks. There have been one or two decent MPs over the years who have turned down expenses or drawn the average wage for their area (mostly Labour, it has to be said), but far too few. Can i honestly say if i were elected to Parliament i wouldn't become like them. I'd like to hope not but who knows. JamesYoung
  • Score: 2

11:15am Sat 18 Jan 14

MaidofDorset says...

A shopping centre without enough public car parking very nearby is as much good as a bucket with a hole in it or a chocolate teapot.

Notice my words 'public parking'. I have visions of large amounts of nearby parking reserved for those at the council offices.
A shopping centre without enough public car parking very nearby is as much good as a bucket with a hole in it or a chocolate teapot. Notice my words 'public parking'. I have visions of large amounts of nearby parking reserved for those at the council offices. MaidofDorset
  • Score: 5

11:22am Sat 18 Jan 14

MaidofDorset says...

Dorset stuff wrote:
Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.
You do realise that Mr Gould the councillor is a Sherborne Gould and is not connected with the Dorchester shop Goulds who are sick to death of the damage done to their sales by thirty years of uncertainty and being across the road from a bomb/building site?
[quote][p][bold]Dorset stuff[/bold] wrote: Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.[/p][/quote]You do realise that Mr Gould the councillor is a Sherborne Gould and is not connected with the Dorchester shop Goulds who are sick to death of the damage done to their sales by thirty years of uncertainty and being across the road from a bomb/building site? MaidofDorset
  • Score: 5

2:48pm Sat 18 Jan 14

CoogarUK.com says...

MaidofDorset wrote:
Dorset stuff wrote:
Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.
You do realise that Mr Gould the councillor is a Sherborne Gould and is not connected with the Dorchester shop Goulds who are sick to death of the damage done to their sales by thirty years of uncertainty and being across the road from a bomb/building site?
But who managed to apply for planning and then rush through the conversion of a store room at the rear of their flagship store into a 'nice little earner' takeaway directly opposite WDDC's monolithic multimillion-pound office-block HQ.

Their openings even more or less coincided. Now that's what you call private enterprise!
[quote][p][bold]MaidofDorset[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dorset stuff[/bold] wrote: Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.[/p][/quote]You do realise that Mr Gould the councillor is a Sherborne Gould and is not connected with the Dorchester shop Goulds who are sick to death of the damage done to their sales by thirty years of uncertainty and being across the road from a bomb/building site?[/p][/quote]But who managed to apply for planning and then rush through the conversion of a store room at the rear of their flagship store into a 'nice little earner' takeaway directly opposite WDDC's monolithic multimillion-pound office-block HQ. Their openings even more or less coincided. Now that's what you call private enterprise! CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 1

2:54pm Sat 18 Jan 14

westendcat says...

JamesYoung wrote:
RobinofLocksley wrote:
Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?
Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.
WDDC owns the freehold of the Tudor Arcade which is on a long lease to a third party (?ING?). Waitrose have a lease from the third party for another 22 years or so.
WDDC receives a handsome ground rent for the Tudor Arcade, based on current turnover rents received from the Arcade sub tenants.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RobinofLocksley[/bold] wrote: Out of interest, does anyone know who owns the freehold on the existing Waitrose and M&S stores?[/p][/quote]Tudor Arcade is owned by another development company - i can't remember which one, but they were an unsuccessful bidder for Charles Street. They were in the news a year or two back after a series of closures because they put the rent up over 60% and the council matched that with an equivalent rate rise.[/p][/quote]WDDC owns the freehold of the Tudor Arcade which is on a long lease to a third party (?ING?). Waitrose have a lease from the third party for another 22 years or so. WDDC receives a handsome ground rent for the Tudor Arcade, based on current turnover rents received from the Arcade sub tenants. westendcat
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Sat 18 Jan 14

westendcat says...

CoogarUK.com wrote:
The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.
And do not lose sight of all the other hidden sweetners that WDDC have given the developers - like hidden predevelopment costs of almost £1m, funding the planning applications, legal costs associated with re-drafting the Development Agreement, changing the pre-let percentages in-favour of the Developer.
The most tragic thing of all was that the the award of the new office contract to Simons was not linked to an obligation to go ahead with the retail scheme if the devloper was given the office contract. Simons have creamed off profit from the office contract which could have used to underpin the whole scheme.
Smacks of amateurs at work again.
[quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.[/p][/quote]And do not lose sight of all the other hidden sweetners that WDDC have given the developers - like hidden predevelopment costs of almost £1m, funding the planning applications, legal costs associated with re-drafting the Development Agreement, changing the pre-let percentages in-favour of the Developer. The most tragic thing of all was that the the award of the new office contract to Simons was not linked to an obligation to go ahead with the retail scheme if the devloper was given the office contract. Simons have creamed off profit from the office contract which could have used to underpin the whole scheme. Smacks of amateurs at work again. westendcat
  • Score: 2

3:05pm Sat 18 Jan 14

westendcat says...

CoogarUK.com wrote:
The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.
And do not lose sight of all the other hidden sweetners that WDDC have given the developers - like hidden predevelopment costs of almost £1m, funding the planning applications, legal costs associated with re-drafting the Development Agreement, changing the pre-let percentages in-favour of the Developer.
The most tragic thing of all was that the the award of the new office contract to Simons was not linked to an obligation to go ahead with the retail scheme if the devloper was given the office contract. Simons have creamed off profit from the office contract which could have used to underpin the whole scheme.
Smacks of amateurs at work again.
[quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.[/p][/quote]And do not lose sight of all the other hidden sweetners that WDDC have given the developers - like hidden predevelopment costs of almost £1m, funding the planning applications, legal costs associated with re-drafting the Development Agreement, changing the pre-let percentages in-favour of the Developer. The most tragic thing of all was that the the award of the new office contract to Simons was not linked to an obligation to go ahead with the retail scheme if the devloper was given the office contract. Simons have creamed off profit from the office contract which could have used to underpin the whole scheme. Smacks of amateurs at work again. westendcat
  • Score: 1

3:56pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Robois51 says...

westendcat wrote:
CoogarUK.com wrote:
The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.
And do not lose sight of all the other hidden sweetners that WDDC have given the developers - like hidden predevelopment costs of almost £1m, funding the planning applications, legal costs associated with re-drafting the Development Agreement, changing the pre-let percentages in-favour of the Developer.
The most tragic thing of all was that the the award of the new office contract to Simons was not linked to an obligation to go ahead with the retail scheme if the devloper was given the office contract. Simons have creamed off profit from the office contract which could have used to underpin the whole scheme.
Smacks of amateurs at work again.
Mr Gould should resign straight away, he does not listen and was told at the outset that it was not financially viable, he should be ashamed of himself
[quote][p][bold]westendcat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: The taxpaying electors of West Dorset are being bled dry, £2m at a time. The Charles Street scheme has never been financially viable and now seems unlikely that it ever will be. Scrap it immediately.[/p][/quote]And do not lose sight of all the other hidden sweetners that WDDC have given the developers - like hidden predevelopment costs of almost £1m, funding the planning applications, legal costs associated with re-drafting the Development Agreement, changing the pre-let percentages in-favour of the Developer. The most tragic thing of all was that the the award of the new office contract to Simons was not linked to an obligation to go ahead with the retail scheme if the devloper was given the office contract. Simons have creamed off profit from the office contract which could have used to underpin the whole scheme. Smacks of amateurs at work again.[/p][/quote]Mr Gould should resign straight away, he does not listen and was told at the outset that it was not financially viable, he should be ashamed of himself Robois51
  • Score: 5

8:56am Sun 19 Jan 14

leo210856 says...

At the full council meeting in Oct 2012 when it was agreed that up to £2 million would be made available one councillor voiced the opinion that the developers would in all likelihood be back for more money and it seems he was right.
I cant find the report that was presented to the full council at that meeting but the Echo report regarding that meeting records the Officers saying something along the lines that if the £2 million wasn't agreed at that time then WDDC would have to put some money in at some point in the future, Seems it didn't matter as that sum was agreed then and despite that more is needed now!
Despite assurances, to those that dare speak out in public, and hollow words in minutes, consultation seems to be avoided I can only think that is because those insular councils know what the wider public think .
At the full council meeting in Oct 2012 when it was agreed that up to £2 million would be made available one councillor voiced the opinion that the developers would in all likelihood be back for more money and it seems he was right. I cant find the report that was presented to the full council at that meeting but the Echo report regarding that meeting records the Officers saying something along the lines that if the £2 million wasn't agreed at that time then WDDC would have to put some money in at some point in the future, Seems it didn't matter as that sum was agreed then and despite that more is needed now! Despite assurances, to those that dare speak out in public, and hollow words in minutes, consultation seems to be avoided I can only think that is because those insular councils know what the wider public think . leo210856
  • Score: 3

6:18pm Sun 19 Jan 14

portland rebel says...

be it DCC, WDDC, W&PBC, or PTC, they are controlled by wannabe plastic politicians, who falsely believe, that they are above ever being wrong and that they know whats best while feathering their nests, and our unelected government whats to give councils more power.
be it DCC, WDDC, W&PBC, or PTC, they are controlled by wannabe plastic politicians, who falsely believe, that they are above ever being wrong and that they know whats best while feathering their nests, and our unelected government whats to give councils more power. portland rebel
  • Score: 2

1:50pm Tue 21 Jan 14

February1948 says...

Dorset Boy wrote:
Dorset stuff wrote: Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.
Dorset stuff. Can I put the records straight. Councillor Gould is not a relation of the Gould shop empire. He is a farmer from near Sherborne
And, strangely, Sherborne remains intact. Not even a Tesco. Now, that's democracy in action Mr. Gould.
[quote][p][bold]Dorset Boy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dorset stuff[/bold] wrote: Sadly we (the residents and taxpayers of Dorchester) have little to no say on how WEST DORSET COUNCIL are destroying this town. I am aware of the structural state of the current waitrose site and that M&S would love to have a bigger store, but WDDC insisted on the Charles St development for their new offices and to keep the town's anchor stores happy they are pushing through with the next phase. WDDC is broke and will not be able to sustain themselves with all the cuts over the next few years. They are not interested in listening to anyone and Gould only has his own (shop's) interests at heart. At least DCC will listen to the public. Plenty of interaction on the latest traffic scheme in Dorch, lessons learned from Weymouth Transport Package will mean that we get what is best by working together. Dorset needs to be a unitary authority, which I am sure will come sooner rather than later as none of the districts can sustain themselves long term. The ONLY way to save money will be to condense services into one efficient body that is open and transparent. It also does away with layer upon layer of excess counselours and people looking out for themselves (Gould). Everyone is keen to bash when it comes to individual schemes but we need to be looking at the much bigger picture and focus on that instead for bigger and better change.[/p][/quote]Dorset stuff. Can I put the records straight. Councillor Gould is not a relation of the Gould shop empire. He is a farmer from near Sherborne[/p][/quote]And, strangely, Sherborne remains intact. Not even a Tesco. Now, that's democracy in action Mr. Gould. February1948
  • Score: 1

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