Friday, May 24, 2024

Election campaign day 2: no football tenancy

Yesterday, day 2 of the election campaign, was the first full council meeting in Gateshead since the council annual meeting, which happened to be last week! The highlight of the agenda was the Lib Dem motion calling for a secure tenancy for Gateshead Football Club at the Gateshead International Stadium. The council are looking to transfer the stadium to another operator and Labour made it clear that a secure ten year tenancy would get in the way of their plans to move the stadium out of the direct council management. To the disappointment of the many fans of Gateshead FC in the public gallery, the motion was defeated.

It was however another occasion for near silence from Cllr Angela Douglas, Cabinet member for sport and leisure. Having been largely silent during the controversy over her plans to close leisure centres - there was a 2 hour debate in cabinet about them during which she said nothing - now was the opportunity for Cllr Douglas to open up about her portfolio and give us an explanation of her thoughts on the stadium. And sure enough, Cllr Douglas grabbed the opportunity. She seconded a Labour wrecking amendment to the Lib Dem motion with a long speech of, errrr, 4 words - "I second the amendment". Many of us wonder what benefit there is to Gateshead by Cllr Douglas being in receipt of her £16K a year post of cabinet member for sport and culture.

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