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Lib Dems costly bloomer on Raven’s Ait

September 14, 2013

This week’s Surrey Comet reports that Stewart Marine, the company owned by Olympic sailing medalist Ossie Stewart, which was handed a 50 year lease to Raven’s Ait island, has been bought in a deal rumoured to be worth £1.9m.

Lib Dem administered RBK Council turned down an offer of £3M for the island in favour of giving the lease to Mr Stewart’s company for just £20,000 a year and a year’s free rent and has been branded inept by all the opponents of the original deal.

Conservative Leader Cllr Howard Jones said ‘I recall we were very surprised at the rushed decision to sell the lease to Stewart Marine. The council was being pushed commercially because it was having to pay for security on the island after squatters moved in. It certainly did not go to the highest bidder, it wasn’t the most interesting use of the island, there was no public engagement and no proper bidding process. It seems the council was wedded to the idea that Stewart Marine, because it was local, was the best bet. It has backed the wrong horse from the looks of it, and has once again shown its ineptitude when it comes to making business deals.’

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