Why is there a lack of transparency?

IN response to the story the Northumberland Gazette has been covering on the plight of Howick Coastguard Rescue Team and their proposed new building, I would like to ask why the compensation process in this case appears so opaque.

If Northern Powergrid have offered, as they state, ‘their normal terms and conditions’ in the first instance and then an improved offer since, I am curious to know why this is insufficient.

I assume Northern Powergrid deal with the relocation of power cables on a regular basis and most landowners must be happy with their compensation package or we would not have seen our county develop as it has over the years.

We hear the terms stated by the land agent in the Gazette of ‘standard practice’ and ‘entitlement’ when referring to compensation payments, which begs the question, what level of remuneration is being requested, especially when the land agent then goes onto state that ‘it fell a long way short’.

To what financial amount is ‘too short’?

With the current period of austerity measures this country is having to endure, I would hope that as a taxpayer-funded project, the majority of the money allotted by the Maritime Coastguard Agency was to provide the Coastguard volunteers with a better building to facilitate rescues and training than for someone else’s profit.

The current situation reminds me more of a game in the playground where a child offers to sell a mate a sweet and says ‘think of a number between one and 100,000 and I’ll give you the sweet’.

The level of money offered by the mate is never enough until he offers the shirt off his back.

Why the lack of clarity in the demand of level of compensation? Could a freedom of information request shed any light on the matter?

Let’s allow the rescuers to perform their duties from a building fit for the 21st century as I am sure that any of us could require their assistance when visiting our coast.

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