Published at 13:10, Tuesday, 28 June 2011
THE former head of regeneration in Barrow was suspended after accusing Cumbria County Council of neglecting the town.
Barrow Regeneration boss Bob Pointing has spoken out for the first time after he was suspended from his job.
Barrow Borough Council’s chief executive, Tom Campbell, has since joined the row and criticised the county council’s “remote management” of Barrow’s regeneration. Mr Pointing was to be made redundant along with 10 others after funding was withdrawn from the Northwest Regional Development Agency.
But he was suspended just months earlier, and faced allegations of serious insubordination, engaging in conduct prejudicial to the reputation and integrity of the council and breaching trust and confidence – all of which he strenuously denies.
In an email to the county council, Mr Pointing said he was concerned with how his suspension had been handled.
He said he believed his email was taken personally and he was being disciplined because he dared to criticise the county council.
Mr Pointing also revealed that when Barrow Regeneration tabled a bid to the Regional Growth Fund for the Waterfront and Marina developments, he was told the county council could not support the application.
He said in his letter: “When this (the bid) was first discussed at a Barrow Regeneration board meeting in November 2010, we were astounded when a senior county councillor member of the board said ‘the county council cannot support this application’. This attitude was subsequently moderated but the county council neither offered nor provided assistance in making this application.”
Mr Campbell suggested the county council did not understand Barrow’s regeneration issues.
He said: “There is no doubt that the county council’s decision to remove all regeneration staff from Barrow is causing us difficulty in maintaining the momentum we had built up.
“The county council has retained a sizeable regeneration team but none of them are based within 50 miles of Barrow and once again we are facing the problem of remote management of what should be hands-on projects.
“Far from actively pursuing land transfer and the harbour revision order I suspect there isn’t anyone in the county who is aware of, or properly understands, these issues.
“The county council did make great play of the importance of them managing the Barrow Regeneration team but there seems to have been little or no attempt to ensure proper knowledge transfer when they declared all the Barrow team redundant and their decision to remove Bob Pointing from the operation well before his agreed termination date has certainly put progress on what are complicated legal and technical matters back significantly.
“I deeply regret the county council’s decision to set up a centralised unit for regeneration/economic development. In my view the varying needs of communities in this county would be better served by integrating county and district resources at a local level.”
Rob Cairns, chairman of Barrow Regeneration, said: “I think Bob did an excellent job but he came across a few barriers which certainly frustrated him. Bob was passionate about the regeneration of Barrow and when he left the organisation, we lost someone who would fight for the local area. He will be very much missed.”
Cumbria County Council denied neglecting Barrow.
Allan Haile, assistant director of economic development, said: “The loss of Northwest Regional Development Agency funding to support posts to deliver regeneration projects in Cumbria has forced the county council to restructure its economic development arrangements.
“Inevitably, this resulted in the loss of jobs. We no longer have the resources to employ teams that are locally-based.
“We now have a flexible team that can be deployed to effectively deliver projects across Cumbria.
“This includes the priority projects that are deliverable in Barrow.”
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
More Kirkby news
- Social media crimes in Cumbria on the increase
- A595 wagon hell looms for Furness residents (6 comments)
- Much-loved Cumbria councillor was a “true gent”
- A595 in Cumbria to be closed for roadworks (1 comment)
- ‘Worst floods I’ve seen in 12 years’ - Kirkby resident
- Heavy rain set to hit Cumbria today
- Kirkby community nets £17,700 to build multi-use sports area
- Cumbria train line reopens - short delays (1 comment)
- More than 350 homes left without power near Ulverston
- Cumbria residents say they will fight to get nightmare section of A595 upgraded (3 comments)
- Cumbria village broadband nightmare is finally over for residents
- Inspirational Ulverston girl Alice Pyne’s gran shows how to raise money in style
- Cumbria A595 road safety summit called (1 comment)
- MP welcomes fuel price cut in South Cumbria village (2 comments)
- Safety fears prompt calls for A595 Cumbria works (4 comments)
- Kirkby residents hail Cumbria MP’s broadband crusade (2 comments)
- Cumbria graphic designer’s broadband campaign backed by community
- Cyclist left with broken ribs after being knocked off bike on road to Ulverston (1 comment)
- New Cumbria turbines set to double height of old windfarm (2 comments)
- Cumbria road ‘not fit for purpose’ says councillor after A595 gridlock (8 comments)
- Kirkby Gala
- Former UKIP Cumbria County Council candidate on drink driving charge
- Two men have lucky escape after car ends up in field by busy Cumbria road (10 comments)
- Neighbour blasts move to build solar park on Kirkby farm
- Meet Misty, possibly the cleverest dog in Cumbria - or should that be the world? (1 comment)
Evening Mail homepage
ENERGY FOR LIFE 5.1k WALNEY FAMILY FUN RUN
Did you enjoy the Energy For Life 5.1k Walney Family Fun Run?
• Click here to pledge to take part in next year's event on September 2, 2012
- Email us
- Send us your pictures
- Send us your news
- Send us your views
- Staff contacts
- Advertise with us
- Family Notices
- Reader Travel
- Competition rules
- CN Letterbox
- Find It in Furness
- CV Link
- Online shop
- CN Research
- Eye Care Savings
- Halifax loans