Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No casino for Bournemouth

So, the Super Casino is going to Manchester and the South Western casinos are going to be situated in Southampton, Bath and Torbay.

Am I disappointed? Truthfully, No.

I voted for the application for the casino to proceed largely because I was persuaded of the tourism and employment benefits of the wider development which may accompany it. I remained opposed to it being situated on the corner of Bath Road and Westover Road and being linked to the Pavilion and the news that it won't be going ahead is no real blow.

It would certainly have been a draw, but the social consequences for the town could have been severe and the scheme did not have public approval, despite some councillors and officials trying to spin the opinion soundings differently.

It is now clear that the town centre development plan is up in the air. We should therefore be stopping and taking stock as to what now happens to each of the central sites in the light of this news. For me, this means not rushing in to the cultural centre plan until we can properly assess the effect this news has.

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