WIND-UP IRVINE BAY REGENERATION COMPANY
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We, the undersigned, call upon the Scottish Government to wind-up the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company. Since its creation in 2006 it has failed to create any substantial new investment in the Irvine Bay area. The area's social, economic and environmental problems, which it had been set up to tackle, have all deteriorated with worrying rapidity. Their poorly conceived plans, lacking a sufficiently large base of evidence, have alienated local businesses and people. Their frequent consultation exercises have been exposed on many occasions as mere public relations exercises, plans presented for discussion have not been altered on a single occasion as a result of one of these stunts. The annual subsidy from North Ayrshire Council (£3.3 million in 2010), is taking money away from vital services to some of the poorest people in the UK and paying for 7 full time and 2 part-time workers to achieve nothing of any significance. It is 'Robin Hood in reverse' - stealing from the poor to pay for the rich.
The Scottish Government are discussing legislation to bring about community empowerment: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/06/7786. The concept of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company is completely alien to this idea. IBRC reminds me of the East India Company in the 19th Century- a private company exercising colonial power on behalf of government. Even the statutory planning authority amends its statutory plans to comply with the wishes of this undemocratic body, in contravention of the basic principle of such plans - public consultation.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has been shown to have failed to obtain its goals, it has alienated local businesses and people and it has pursued an agenda of which the local population do not approve. If Scottish Government Ministers mean what they say about encouraging 'ground up' regeneration, then they should divert resources away from urban regeneration companies and fund local communities, so that they may deliver the changes which, only they know, need to be achieved.
Wind-up Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.