Livestock market relocation - My address to farmers' meeting at the Livestock Market: 7th December 2010

My name is Paul Andrews. I am one of three ward members for Malton. First elected 7 and a half years ago.

I live at Great Habton, a small country village, and have always supported the farming community – particularly on the issue of land drainage and flooding.

 For example, at the March 2008 Council meeting I proposed a motion which read: "In principle, this Council opposes the blocking up of drains, the creation of river meanders and the abandonment of flood defences, and that the Environment Agency be so informed". This motion was lost by one vote (the vote was 12 against and 11 in favour - the 12 who voted against were 11 conservatives and 1 Liberal Democrat - there were some abstentions).

I have also supported the farming community on the Cattle Market issue. In 2007 and again in 2008, I got the auctioneers and the Estate together to try and sort out an agreed approach. We ended up with a plan which we submitted to the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council – a plan which they rejected.

So although I am not a farmer, I do have your best interests at heart and do and have done my very best to help the farming community – more than many members of RDC.

Ryedale has now offered you a million pounds from the sale of WWSCP, and you are asked to come up with some of the balance and form a joint stock company.

Let me say first that for the last few years I have supported proposals for the relocation of the Livestock Market, and would welcome the setting up of a farmers’ co-operative or joint-stock company to build and run it – if that is what you decide to do.

However, I do not agree with the principle of using public money to do this. In my view, the relocation of the Cattle Market is something that will benefit the Estate, and for that reason I believe the Estate – not the Council – has a moral obligation to be responsible for  a very large share of the relocation as a development cost of redeveloping the Cattle Market site. I believe the Council should be working with the Estate and with the auctioneers to achieve this – instead of seeking the destruction of Malton by building on WWSCP. I have spoken to the Estate Manager, and he says that, if the Council will forego contributions it requires for other matters, the Estate would be able to contribute a fair share of the relocation costs.

Some councillors and officers seem to believe they can divide our country community in order to get what they want. So they seek to play off yourselves, the farming community, against townspeople. That is why they are now offering you something they’ve never offered before. That is why they are now taking an interest in relocating the Cattle Market, when they’ve never shown the remotest interest in this before.

I don’t believe anyone here wants to see a divided community. I am sure you all have relatives and friends who live in or about Malton and Norton and so I cannot believe you can want to inflict upon them the ruin and destruction of the towns they work and live in.

Councillors constantly repeat that a new supermarket on WWSCP will not harm Malton’s town centre but will improve it. If they really believe this, why are they not going to provide direct access from Wentworth Street Car Park to the A64 via Broughton Road? Just think of the traffic chaos which will result without such direct access to the A 64.

So I would urge you to set up your joint stock company, and to continue your support for the campaign against the sale of Wentworth Street Car Park, on the basis that the Estate should contribute its share of the livestock market’s relocation costs.

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