Councillors Chris Shaw and Mick Burnett respond to your question in online debate
FROM a redeveloped Top Town to the closure of Scartho baths – it was time for readers to put their burning questions to councillors.
North East Lincolnshire Council has hit the headlines over the past few days and weeks, with various issues affecting you.
And yesterday Councillor Chris Shaw and Councillor Mick Burnett joined Grimsby Telegraph editor Michelle Lalor, for a live debate on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk
As reported, the council has revealed it has to make another £7-million of savings in the next few years, but one reader asked during the debate: "To help save some of the £7-million, why not cut the amount of spending on making roundabouts look pretty? Take Nuns Corner, for example – it's been made to look nice for the second time this year."
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The councillors said: "The reason why work is undertaken on roundabouts is to reduce the amount of maintenance in future years while at the same time making sure the area is a pleasant place to live and visit."
The controversial closure of Scartho Baths came under fire from readers with suggestions of alternative locations for a new leisure centre.
One person wrote: "Why not build it on Clee Fields and incorporate King George stadium into one big sporting facility?"
The councillors responded with: "To do this we would need the permission of the secretary of state as it is open sports land."
As reported, a new stand alone centre would be built in front of the existing Grimsby Leisure Centre, in Cromwell Road, allowing users to continue using the current facilities without being affected by the work. Although there will be a new 25-metre pool, the facility will not have a steam room, sauna or diving board facilities – all of which are provided at Scartho.
With this in mind one reader asked: "Why can't the money for a diving area in the proposed new pool be found from general reserves as I understand it would only add about £300k to the overall budget?"
According to Councillor Shaw and Councillor Burnett the reason is simple.
They said: "We have a set amount of money available and that £300,000 would have to be borrowed and put back – anyway the reality is that any good diving facility would cost much more than £300,000.
"The two MPs are seeking Olympic legacy money with the full support of the council – if this money is made available we can look again. But that money would need to be made available before the end of the year to ensure facilities can go ahead as a whole."
Other topics which arose during the half-hour debate included parking in Yarborough Drive, dog fouling on public footpaths, repairs to Abbey Walk multi-storey car park and more.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Shaw said: "We would be happy to come back and do an online debate again, I think they are very worthwhile.
"We had a wide variety of issues touched upon by the public and it is nice to see people taking an interest in what is happening around them.
"As councillors we pride ourselves on never hiding away and always making ourselves available and approachable for people to talk to.
"Anyone who could not ask a question through the live debate is more than welcome to write, e-mail or give us a call."
Editor Michelle Lalor said: "We had a positive response to our online debate, which allowed our readers to ask the council leaders directly about a whole range of issues that concern them.
"It is always really interesting to have this two-way question and answer session and www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk gives us a unique opportunity to do so."
To replay the discussion, click on the console below: