“on a proper financial basis in the first instance”

The Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, has denied being “got at” by party colleagues [After legal advice on the prospects for a judicial review? – Ed] over the proposals for a multi-sports stadium at the Maze site, as previously noted here.. although several of his party colleagues have made public statements. But has the Minister altered his previously stated criteria for any decision on a stadium?From the statement to the BBC by Mr Poots

He added that the location of a stadium would ultimately be made “on a proper financial basis in the first instance”.

However, as previously noted

.. when he set out the criteria, in an official statement, which any alternative proposal would have to meet there was a subtle, but telling, difference.

“Any alternative location needs to be delivered in time, to be supported by the Governing Bodies of the three sports, Soccer, Rugby and Gaelic, be economically viable and most importantly, be consistent with the wider Government objectives of a Shared Future.[added emphasis]

“What I am being asked to do is to stop or overturn a decision which was made two years ago to locate the Multi-Sports Stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh. However, I cannot stop a process unless I am given viable alternatives.

“To date none of the alternatives discussed with me have demonstrated that they can satisfy the criteria.”

Is that no longer the most important criteria for the Minister? And does the Maze proposal meet the “proper financial basis” criteria?

, ,

  • Maybe some day DCAL will be kind enough to publish a business case for the Maze and we can all find out. Wonder why they haven’t done so up to this point? Maybe there is no business case? Maybe the numbers don’t add up and the ratepayers of “Inner East”/Lisburn/Antrim/Newtownabbey/Carrick will be expected to pick up the shortfall for the net 50 years or more.

    Maybe, maybe, maybe. The secrecy shrouding DCAL/SIB’s work on the project to date is shameful.

    Financial sense doesn’t come into it any more than sport does. It’s all about the politics and the “shared future” waffle. F**K the practicalities.

  • Tiny

    I hope Edwin was able to ‘clear’ this statement, just to keep himself right you understand!

  • willowfield

    “Any alternative location needs to be delivered in time …

    In time for what?

    However, I cannot stop a process unless I am given viable alternatives.

    Go out and find viable alternatives instead of pretending that the Government only has the passive role of sitting back waiting for people to make proposals. Who was it who spent millions on the Maze proposal? The Government!

    And does the Maze proposal meet the “proper financial basis” criteria?

    No.

  • kensei

    Actually Pete, you miss the point. If this pisses huge amount of DUPer off, it is detrimental to the Shared Future objectives. This is more the Process is the Policy, here.

  • Maybe some day DCAL will be kind enough to publish a business case for the Maze and we can all find out.

    I put a request under the FOI for the figures, holding my breath….face turning purple.

    The local hacks (with one or two honourable exceptions, hallo there Brendan!) should be ashamed of themselves, they should’ve seen through this charade right form the start and did a bit of, you know, objective investigative reporting.

    Furthermore (while I’m on a run,)) it may interest Sluggers to see one of the main names behind this company, one of the very few investors interested in the Maze project:

    http://www.diversitec.co.uk/maze.php

  • Pete Baker

    oneill

    Who we are

    Diversitec Ltd was established in September 2002 by Robert Poots, a well known figure in the local community as a dairy farmer and as the Managing Director and Proprietor of the company, along with his wife Sylvia. Robert is a former chairman of the County Down division of the Ulster Farmers Union , he presently sits on the Lisburn Strategy Partnership Board as a representative of the rural community, is the founding chairman and a member of Laganside Rural Development, an organisation set up to assist the rural community, and has recently acquired the vice-chairman’s position of the Ulster Farmer Union’s Rural Development Committee for Northern Ireland.”

    A relative perchance?

  • A relative perchance?

    Since the OWC boys have had legal problems already with this, I should clarify, it’s not Edwin’s brother.

    Now, any journalist reading, do your homework.

  • Pete Baker

    oneill

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • Isaac Quail

    The Maze “National” stadium is increasingly recognized as a massive p-rivate finance style scam. The 60acre site is estimated (depending on permissions gained) to be worth between a third and a half a BILLION pounds – a gift the the developers provided they leave a stadium behind.

    It may or may not be what football wants – but does our society want to give away that sort of prize to private developers?

    Let football look after itself.

    Isaac