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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Lib Dems leader has reservations about Carlisle United ground move

Liberal Democrat front man Trevor Allison says he has “reservations” about Carlisle United’s move to an all-seater stadium at Kingmoor Park.

Trevor Allison photo
Trevor Allison

Mr Allison, who is standing in the city council elections tomorrow, was asked about the proposed move in a News & Star web chat yesterday.

He said: “I attend every home match, and will be going to Oldham on Saturday but I do have some reservations about relocating the ground to Kingmoor.

“What we are seeing at Carlisle is a migration north on a big scale to the detriment of the south of Carlisle and in my view the city centre.”

Mr Allison, who hopes to retain his seat in Dalston, also pressed the case for a southern relief road between M6 junction 42 and the Carlisle Northern Development Route at Newby West.

He said: “This clearly must be a medium to long term project but I am encouraged that it does seem to be gaining some traction politically, especially as the city MP is now pressing for this.”

Mr Allison agreed with Labour leader Joe Hendry’s comments, in a web chat on Monday, that the former Lonsdale Cinema in Warwick Road was beyond repair and would have to be demolished.

But he added: “I do believe the site at the top of Warwick Road, close to the restaurants, is ideal for a theatre.”

He defended the Liberal Democrats’ backing of the Conservatives on the council – the Tories have depended on Lib Dem support since losing their overall majority in 2003.

Mr Allison said: “Behind the scenes we have made our views known and I would like to think that their approach has been amended accordingly.”

He attacked Labour over a £15m loan taken out in 1995, which costs £1.34m a year in interest, and for suggesting that Carlisle might have a 50-metre Olympic-sized swimming pool.

He said: “My concern there, apart from the capital cost, is that it would need a subsidy of £500,000 a year.

“The implications for a subsidy at that level are obvious.”

You can read the full webchat here.

Polling stations will be open from 10am to 7pm on Thursday when a third of the council’s 52 seats are up for election.

Labour needs to make a net gain of three to be sure of taking control for the first time since 1999.

Dr Jason Gooding, the council’s chief executive and the returning officer for the elections, said: “We want as many voters as possible to come out and make their mark.

“Local government provides a wide range of services and elections allow residents to have their say.”

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