Just received an answer to FOI 32106:
Spa Pavilion cliff-face: why as part of Seafront Gardens project wasn’t the cliff behind
the Spa Pavilion made safe, and a stand-alone feature, rather than relying upon the
support of the Spa Pavilion?
The Felixstowe Seafront Gardens Restoration Project is by definition a gardens
restoration project and not a cliff stabilisation scheme and therefore the
stabilisation of the cliff behind the Spa Pavilion is outside the scope of the
Hours of officer time to produce response: 1 hour
SCDC has been asked under FOI 32106: Spa Pavilion cliff face not part of garden works so why has the Ranelagh Road cliff been reinforced,
and the old cafe in the gardens beside the Town Hall. Are you saying they were not cliff stabilisation projects that
they are ‘just’ gardening projects?
If so how much did they each cost as part of the Gardens Project?
Rumours abound! Some say the contract is already signed – others that it will take place on 16th May. In either case the Council are saying nothing – total disregard for the opinions of local people. Remember there is an election very soon.
We do know that there was another bidder – a very respectable local company that wanted to use the Spa Pavilion as a training centre for staff to be employed on cruise ships. The plan was to use the theatre to test entertainers – with local people as the audience, and to test all other staff, cooks, stewards etc.
That seemed like a good idea. The company promised to invest £1.5 million. Suffolk Coastal DC in the name of Cllr Holdcroft turned it down. He’s not yet made any statement about that, nor have Cllrs Andy Smith or Ray Herring who were also involved in this debacle.
Every day we hear more about NRG Theatres – or rather the people involved. The company has no track record, having been created at the end of February 2015. The people involved all have considerable histories – but not in the management of a theatre. Nor has a business plan been made available for public scrutiny.
Unfortunately we can no longer trust Suffolk Coastal DC to oversee any contracts. They seem to fail every time. Look at the Seafront Gardens – a contract started ages ago, which lost one contractor through the bungling of Suffolk Coastal, and we have yet to discover how much that will cost with damages and legal costs yet to be publicly stated.
We should hear more soon. Our Freedom of Information requests are to be answered. Watch this web site!
Another revelation is that the cliff behind the Spa Pavilion is being supported by the building. Removing the Spa building will probably see the cliff collapse. It’s estimated that it will cost £300,00 to make it safe. Anyone knocking down the place to build luxury aprtments (for example) would have the additional cost.
Daily Revelations! NRG Theatres Ltd are not the only company bidding for this theatre. We will provide more details very soon.
Interestingly we have served Freedom of Information requests twice, and received no confirmation. We checked this morning to find that they must now be sent to email@example.com. Problem is the old firstname.lastname@example.org does not redirect, nor are you told of the change, it is just allowed to fall into the pit of despair, unacknowledged.
We sent more FOI’s this morning – now we wait 20 days.
There is a public meeting on 5 June to be held by NRG Theatre Ltd and Suffolk Coastal District Council
We have submitted Freedom of Information requests to Suffolk Coastal DC twice this week (the same questions each time). SCDC has not responded. http://www.spapavilion.co.uk/?p=32
The last published accounts of Big L Ltd are to 31 March 2014, and show Total Assets of £58,578. There are Long Term Liabilities of -£1,816,091. Since incorporation on 5 October 2005 Big L Ltd has accrued losses of -£2,504,067.
There’s a flood of comments on the Pirate Radio message board: http://members7.boardhost.com/PirateRadio/msg/1426521768.html
A comment made today: How could suffolk coastal take an offer seriously, from a company who only made 2 visits to the spa prior to completing the deal. They didn’t even have a survey carried out. So how an earth could they put forward an accurate business plan with no idea of money required to bring building up to required levels. The suggested 100k for a soft opening is a complete joke. The kitchen refit could swallow 60k! Oh I know so much more, some one has to be held responsible for this extremely floored deal. There is a rumour that planned opening is already going to be delayed due to asbestos being present within the spa.
Another message said:
That’s really interesting (and worrying) information about the Spa and its new owner. Thank you so much for exposing this. I assume this is the same pirate-radio-obsessed Ray Anderson whose illegal activities are referred to in this article http://wonderfulradiolondon.info/ and who operates the pirate radio museum in Clacton? BTW the London address is a virtual office that provides mail forwarding etc so I think we can assume he is operating from his home address in Frinton used for the other companies. The fact that he holds directorships in two names suggests that he is trying to hide his former failings as a company owner and court cases that appear to have been raised against those companies for copyright theft etc.
I agree this deal smacks of desperation and quite apart from this individual’s chequered history the lack of experience in live theatre production really is concerning. What is it that Andy Smith et al have against local talented people that they would not allow an experienced local group to take over this theatre but instead believe this retro-inspired broadcasting bungler to be more trustworthy? I suspect NO investigations were made into his past and I expect the reasons for his investment have nothing to do with the long term future of the theatre in Felixstowe and more to do with another platform for him to expound his nostalgia for Radio London via a location overlooking the sea.
Shocking. I can only hope the EADT, Radio Suffolk and others pick up on this. Thanks again for alerting the people of Felixstowe to this dodgy deal.
Councillor Andy Smith represents Felixstowe South on Suffolk Coastal District Council. He is Deputy Leader of the Council and a senior member of Cabinet, the inner sanctum of eight councillors, with responsibility for Economic development and policy, Business, Skills, Regional economy, Economic partnerships – LEP, City Deal, Tourism and coastal management.
These are heavy responsibilities placed on the shoulders of a man whose professional career, in part at least, was spent as a clerk at an engineering works.
He appears to be the driving force behind the decision to grant a contract to a recently formed company to to bring life back to the Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe.
Ray Anderson, who lives in Kirby Cross, Essex, is the Managing Director of this new company, formed in February 2015.
His career has not been very successful, and is littered with dissolved companies, resignations and a poor credit rating. To demonstrate his business look at two videos, produced by C4 Television.
The first sees Harvey Goldsmith, a very successful entrepreneur in the entertainment industry, investigating Big L, a radio station run by Ray Anderson in Frinton, Essex.
‘Get Your Act Together with Harvey Goldsmith’ was a Channel 4 (UK) television programme in which promoter Harvey Goldsmith was given six months to help revive the fortunes of six entertainment businesses or performers. Each one was given a separate episode in the series.
This was followed by a show on ‘sister’ channel E4 after the main programme had been aired on Channel 4. It featured Harvey Goldsmith with some of the main people behind Big L, Ray is there but does not speak, and a studio audience which included members of the public and some invited radio industry people.
A glance at Ray Anderson’s business record should have raised suspicions, but nobody at Suffolk Coastal DC has revealed any information about the contract so it is difficult to judge.