MP Nic Dakin responds to Scunthorpe United chairman's call for public inquiry over Lincolnshire Lakes
Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin (left) and Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann (Image: Scunthorpe Live)
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 11 Feb 2019
Nic Dakin has said he wants to help Scunthorpe United and North Lincolnshire Council find a way of working together in the interests of the area.
The Scunthorpe MP has responded to a call from Iron chairman Peter Swann for him to lead a public inquiry into the handling of the Lincolnshire Lakes project and the building of a new stadium.
The club had wanted to relocate as part of the Lakes project, which will see the creation of 6,000 homes and new community facilities on land between Scunthorpe and the River Trent.
But after various delays and complications regarding a site, the club were unable to build a stadium on the Lakes site and are now looking to redevelop their current Glanford Park home instead.
Mr Swann claimed in a statement on the Scunthorpe United website that promises had been broken and the truth about what happened with the development continued to be hidden from the public.
In the statement, he said: "A public inquiry should now be led by our MP Nic Dakin as quickly as possible."
Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann is calling for a public inquiry over the Lincolnshire Lakes project (Image: Scunthorpe Telegraph)
Council leader Rob Waltham responded, saying he was satisfied that the authority had been following planning processes legally and appropriately.
Mr Dakin has now issued a statement, setting out his position on the issue.
Nic Dakin's statement in full
"Scunthorpe United is very important to local people. Along with other cultural and sporting assets, it helps define the identity of the place we live.
"Local people have been very fortunate that the Wharton family showed leadership and commitment to the club, investing in it over decades.
"It was good news when Peter Swann as the new owner made clear his desire to continue in this great tradition by bringing new investment to match his new vision for the club.
"It is disappointing that North Lincolnshire Council, having made clear their desire to work with Scunthorpe United to help facilitate development of a new iconic stadium as part of the Lincolnshire Lakes project, appear to have abandoned a position which inspired local people, especially Iron fans.
An artist's impression of a new stadium for Scunthorpe United, which was to be built as part of the Lincolnshire Lakes project
"So I have not been surprised at the frustration of many of these fans contacting me over recent months to express frustration that things did not move forward as both partners promised.
"In response to these concerns I have already written to the council to ask for clarification of what happened.
"At several times during the process I have tried to support the football club in having a better relationship with the council.
"Now the chairman has gone public detailing how he feels he has been let down by the council and asking that I chair a public enquiry into this matter, including the appropriate use of public funds.
The Lincolnshire Lakes project has been hit by delays (Image: Lincolnshire Lakes)
"What is clearly important is that the public need to have confidence that public money is spent properly.
"I also know that local people want the council to work in a way that supports Scunthorpe United.
"I hope that the council will determine the planning application for the redevelopment of Glanford Park soon.
"It is important that I do all I can to get assurance that public monies have been used appropriately and that I do all I can to get these two partners, Scunthorpe United FC and North Lincolnshire Council, round the table to find a constructive way forward in the interest of our area."