Borough councillor resigns from leisure trust board

Borough councillor resigns from leisure trust board

A borough councillor has resigned from his position on a leisure trust board, citing reasons surrounding conflicts of interest.

Cllr Carl Annison, who represents the Bradwell South and Hopton ward on Great Yarmouth Borough Council, announced his resignation from the Sentinel Leisure Trust board at a meeting of the full council this evening.

The UKIP councillor said that it appeared that as part of his position on the board, he was expected to “always have to work in the best interest of Sentinel”.

He went on to say that although he is not against everything that Sentinel is doing, he felt very frustrated with the situation surrounding not-for-profit company Retroskate and their future position in Great Yarmouth’s Marina Centre.

Refurbishment plans for the Marina Centre, in Marine Parade, were announced earlier this month after new operators the Sentinel Leisure Trust signed a 15-year contract to take over the centre and Bradwell’s Phoenix Pool, both of which are local authority centres.

As reported last week, Retroskate director Gaynor Read asked people to throw their weight behind a campaign to let the organisation stay by signing a petition and responding to the council’s consultation on the centre’s remodelling, as well as its own. The council’s consultation ended on Friday, September 18.

Cllr Annison said that because it looked like plans to turn the Retroskate area into a car park would go ahead, he felt there was a conflict of interest and would resign with immediate effect.

Cllr Trevor Wainwright, who also sits on the Sentinel board, reiterated that the main purpose of being there was to protect the public’s money.

“Being on the board doesn’t stop you making decisions and speaking your mind,” Cllr Wainwright, who represents the Magdalen ward, said. He added that nothing had been decided about Retroskate and that the company had been asked to submit a business case for review.

Cllr Michael Jeal, representing Nelson Ward, said that in sitting on outside bodies, it was always a councillor’s first responsibility to act as a check for that body. “By resigning, you’ve stopped yourself having a voice,” he added.

No nominations were received to fill the position on the board at the council meeting.

This article was provided by Great Yarmouth Mercury

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