Some associates of mine are trying to get hold of a copy of the agreement between Gosport Borough Council (GBC) & Portsmouth Football Club (PFC) to build a new training facility and matters related to the agreement and related financial machinations under a Freedom Of Information (FOI) application.

Sam the reporter at the Gosport office of the local paper, The Portsmouth News, has tried and the council officers have apparently failed to provide the relevant material.

This is the scenario as far as we can gather, so if you think it worthy of your forward mail to all your contacts, then please send it on. Or just mail the URL of this web site.

I have now spoken to (name redacted) and I believe I am up to speed with the apparently missing cash. I don’t have all the dates but from what I gather the sequence of events was more or less the following:

1. GBC approved Persimmon Homes scheme to build around 1,000 houses at Cherque Farm on land that they owned (believed to have been purchased from the authority but unconfirmed). In granting consent GBC make Persimmon enter into a S106 agreement with the Council requiring Persimmon to pay GBC a substantial sum of money (believed to be around £400,000, but not confirmed) for the creation of areas of public open space at Cherque Farm .

2. Persimmon Homes start to build and implement the Planning Permission and pay GBC the sum of money referred to in the S106 agreement.

3. GBC do not spend the money on the Public Open Space referred to in the S106 agreement!

4. 05.05.2008 PFC apply to create their training ground on the area of land earmarked for the S106 money. Planning reference K.17571

5a. 22.07.2008 GBC grant planning permission to PFC with a number of conditions including work must begin within 3 years.

5b. Persimmon Homes ask for their money back as it has not been used for the Public Open Space referred to in their S106 agreement.

6. GBC refund Persimmon Homes the S106 money.
GBC draws up a legally binding agreement with PFC (Official form for this agreement unknown but possibly a S106?) to reimburse GBC the S106 money.

7. 2010 PFC go into administration. (I understand but do not know for sure, that GBC made no representation regarding repayment of the legal agreement money at the time of the PFC financial problems)

8. PFC relegated reducing their income and have stricter financial controls imposed.

The funny thing was was that this debt was never shown on their Company Voluntary Aggreement (CVA), had GBC redeemed the public money or not as there SEEMS no record of it.

Another detail heard, which SEEMS common knowledge, is that PFC actually tried to pay the money back and the council officers, ( believed to be Linda Edwards, the legal person involved) declined to accept it, saying that it wasnt important at the moment.

I do incline to believe in these times of constraint that such a sum may seem insignificant on a Council fat cat salary but to those losing their jobs or experiencing cuts in local services it is hard to agree that £400k is to the taxpayers unimportant or in any way insignificant.

It is understood that Council leader, MARK HOOK and CEO IAN LYCETT were also implicated in this matter.

I do make an unreserved apology if there is a simple explanation that does not mean that someone, with the collusion of the Council has trousered around £400K of public money obtained from the Council TAX payers of GBC – every effort has been made to obtain the full details under an FOI but as yet all that has seemingly happened has been obfuscation and a failure of transparency of public accounting in a manner that would seem to lack probity or professional care of TAX payers money.

There are those in GBC area who believe that this money has ‘gone missing and to quote one local businessman, based on the information he has been able to establish: ‘I want these corrupt bastards out of public office’.

It is interesting to note after but a brief Google search that there is an association in some way between GBC, Mandaric Holdings and PFC.

This inclines to heighten the awareness of a possibility of a lack of probity when it further becomes apparent that Milan Mandaric is an associate of Peter Storrie and Harry Redknapp and that the three of them subsequent to an initial hearing are due before the courts on matters relating to tax ‘issues’ – due in June or July for trial!

My associates have failed to obtain the facts despite being rate payers and employers paying Taxes to GBC and in default of response to a FOI – I wonder if YOU can throw some light on who currently has this £400K and by what authority otherwise it must be assumed that the Council has colluded in some scam leading to £400K of other peoples’ money for which they are highly salaried for the care of has been ‘Half Inched’!

Might the sum be recoverable from the generous pension fund of the Council staff responsible?

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” 
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), 

Greg L-W.

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