Swanage Bay View and the Town Council -
Business Not Completed.
Swanage Bay View Holiday Park and Swanage Town Council have not concluded their business over the former's disposal, and this may cost Swanage a lot of money when it is finished.
Darwin plc, the investment company behind SBV, are in dispute with a majority of caravan owners over site fee increases which, the owners maintain, is not in accordance with the terms of their license. (Darwin has just published a further large increase for 2011, and admits both years' figures are 'in dispute').
How does this affect Swanage? Why care about the 'muni'? Isn't that business done and dusted, you may ask?
The owners and Swanage Town Council made an agreement about two years ago that the fees would be adjusted according to a set of factors which are too lengthy to list here. That agreement was overseen by the Office of Fair Trading and the District Auditor. Darwin maintains that this agreement is not relevant to them; that they do not have to honour any such agreement made by the previous owner (STC). This will go before an independent arbitrator soon.
This may affect Swanage because among many other such provisions, Darwin has included in the purchase contract a covenant holding STC liable for any losses it incurs due to any conditions or detrimental actions done by the vendor, Swanage Town Council.
If arbitration decides the caravan owners are correct, then Darwin will have to forego the fee increases, which will cause it to lose a large sum of money. If arbitration favours Darwin, it can still claim a large sum of compensation for nearly two years of running the business with its income stream 'in dispute', leaving it unable to invest in improving the business until such time as it knows what its income will be. In either case, STC may have to refund substantial portions of the sale proceeds, as well as legal costs, etc.
This is all due to the acceptance of the previous Town Clerk and STC to make an agreement with the caravan owners; I believe this was done to facilitate disputes that were holding up the disposition of the park to Darwin. Whether it was poor judgment, or a case of being caught between a rock and a hard place, STC made a mistake that has yet to be resolved.
Your money is being used to pay for this error by STC. You have not been told because this matter, and many others, are excluded from public scrutiny at council meetings and other means, such as full and complete minutes of portions of meetings held 'in camera'. There is also the ongoing sub judice discussions about the land south of the park, which Swanage rate payers are not told about. Perhaps it is time for STC to tell the people of Swanage what is going on - and stop hiding behind rules to exclude members of the public from certain aspect of business!!
Perhaps the Gazette would like to ask a few questions about this, in the interests of the rate payers of Swanage? If this information is materially incorrect, perhaps the Town Council would care to correct it?
Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 9:45 AM