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'Let's trust in democracy', says Steve Hayes
6:11pm Monday 18th July 2011 in Prestwood & Great Missenden
STEVE Hayes, owner of Wycombe Wanderers and Wasps, has just released the following statement in advance of tonight's crunch council debate, and tells here why he is sending just one representative to the meeting.
A message from Steve Hayes regarding attendance at tonight’s Council meeting to discuss WDC’s future involvement in the Wycombe Sporting Village:
Over the last few days Wycombe Sporting Development Limited (WSDL), the clubs and I personally have received a significant number of messages of support for the Wycombe Sporting Village.
Support has come from notable national figures and from many local people, some on behalf of groups and some on behalf of their families and themselves.
What they all have in common is a desire to see a positive future for Wycombe.
Many people have asked me whether attending tonight’s meeting would help the Council to see that there is significant support for the Wycombe Sporting Village.
My belief is that tonight’s decision is all about the democratic process in action. It is about the Council making a clear and rational decision about what is best for all 160,000 people who reside in this district.
What the Council has to decide is whether there is benefit in continuing its partnership with WSDL as we work towards the development of a full business case.
WSDL are clear that there is demonstrable benefit based on the significant social and economic returns the Wycombe Sporting Village will bring to the area. Let’s be clear, a planning application will only be made once this full business case is developed and has been fully reviewed.
The Council’s decision now is whether to keep exploring the potential of the Wycombe Sporting Village not whether it should be built or not.
The Council will not be making any new financial commitments beyond the minimal costs associated with adapting the existing Collaborative Agreement with WSDL.
The next stages in the process are all about WSDL proving to the Council that it can attract sufficient funding and engaging with the public in a consultation about the best mix of facilities available on the site.
Tonight’s decision should be based on a clear consideration of the facts. I want nothing to distract the Councillors from tonight’s important decision.
If they are swayed by the numbers of people who turn out tonight or by those who have shouted loudest in recent months, then the faith many of us have in local democracy would be sadly misguided. I trust that they are wiser than this.
This is a defining moment for the Council; let them focus on their decision making. I won’t be attending the meeting nor will members of my team. I am sending one representative to the meeting and one alone.
If you choose to join me in not attending then I assure you the Council’s decision will be relayed to you via our website.
Tonight’s decision is an important one for the future of Wycombe. Let’s trust the democratic process and its basis in representing the best interests of all the people.