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Town council fall out

over leisure centre plans

    By Andrea Kirk  
FORMER Hornsea Mayor, Lee Walton has resigned as a town councillor in a new twist over leisure centre plans. He supports the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s proposals for the town leisure centre which are on its planning portal.
His shock resignation follows Hornsea Town Council’s meeting on Monday, March 5, where themajority of town councillors voted not to support the East Riding Council’s planning application.
Of the 14 Hornsea town councillors, nine voted with six supporting the first motion proposed by Councillor Angus Robinson to recommend refusal. A second motion was proposed by Cllr Lee Walton to support the application The local authority wants to refurbish the leisure centre adding a two-storey extension to provide new multi-purpose facility including library, customer service centre, social services centre, enhanced leisure facilities, cafe and other ancillary services; moving the gym to the first floor. The proposals include a 17-car parking space reduction in the car park, but 18 car parking spaces would be created to the south of the leisure centre near Sands Lane including six where some of the kiosk buildings are being demolished.
Following the meeting Mr Walton lodged a comment on the East Riding Council planning portal stating: “Hornsea Town Council’s decision not to support this application is appalling.
After less than three minutes of deliberation, the members of the town council voted against supporting this application. Consequently, I have resigned as a Hornsea town councillor such is my strength of feeling. I do not believe that the members of Hornsea town council are representative of the people of Hornsea, and their arguments against this development are fundamentally flawed. I sincerely hope that you will approve these plans.”
In his resignation letter dated March 6, Mr Walton said: “I have been shocked at the attitude of Hornsea’s town councillors towards the redevelopment of the leisure centre and was amazed that they were prepared to turn their backs on £10 million of funding to improve Hornsea. I will not be entering into any further discussion in this matter.”
Hornsea Mayor Anne Padgett was one of the councillors who voted against the redevelopment. She said: “I was concerned about the impact this development would have on the centre of the town - another two empty buildings as well as the detrimental effect on
those with mobility issues. I have worked with Lee as deputy mayor and am sorry that he has decided to take this action.”
Cllr John Miller commented: “Lee proposed acceptance, and it was also seconded, but since
the proposal to reject came first, that was the one voted on first. When the vote was taken it was immediately obvious whatever I voted would make no difference, since there was already a majority for refusal. Because of that I chose not to vote at all, as there was little point in doing so.”
He added: “We need development in Hornsea, and if I had voted I would have supported Lee’s proposal for acceptance. I am sad that Lee has resigned, as I class him as a personal friend as well as a very good councillor.”
Councillor Julie Kemp said: “I was one of the three councillors who voted in favour of the redevelopment, so I was obviously disappointed with the outcome of the vote. I feel the redevelopment of the leisure centre is such a positive for the town it must be not only supported but welcomed.”
The Holderness Gazette - Serving News to the Holderness Region