Bridlington Golf Club land sale - allegations are all 'rumour and speculation'
A senior council boss has called for a line to be drawn over the selling of land at Bridlington Golf Club.
It follows a police investigation into allegations that prime council-owned seafront land was sold below market value .
East Riding Council struck a £725,000 deal towards the end of last year for the freehold sale of land off Belvedere Road, which also allowed the golf club to negotiate the sale of 3.5 acres of the course to a developer for £1.6m.
The land – which includes the current 16th hole – is earmarked for 22 homes after the council’s planning committee controversially went against their authority’s own polices for new development in the town and approved the housing scheme.
The apparently low freehold valuation was then queried by some councillors, while others questioned the roles played by council leader Stephen Parnaby and the council’s deputy chief executive Alan Menzies in the deal.
However in January, Detective Sergeant Ivan Simms from Humberside Police’s economic crime unit concluded in its findings that there was non evidence of any wrongdoing.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s audit committee on Friday, council monitoring officer Matthew Buckley made it clear that unless fresh evidence emerges to the contrary, the matter should be considered closed.
He said: “In respect of new issues being raised, they would have to be new issues because I think what’s happening at the moment is a lot of stuff just keeps on going round and round and being repeated when questions have already been answered.
“There is no evidence that there’s any wrongdoing here, there isn’t anywhere else for this to go or there shouldn’t be because there isn’t anything to see.”
Cllr Paul Hogan, chair of the council’s audit committee, said: “I think this is the third time that we’ve looked at this either as a committee or individually and each time we’ve had a similar level of assurance.
“One of the major areas we were concerned about was the valuation and I think we can rest assured that the numbers involved are correct and of true value to the local authority.”
Mr Buckley said: “People will continue to make allegations but all that is is rumour and speculation and that’s all that it is. There’s nothing for the audit committee to look at, it can look at the facts [and] look at the whether or not this was actually carried out in a proper process.”
Jack Muscutt, Local Democracy Reporting Service