Sunderland's leaders face grilling over £7.5million Siglion takeover by Sunderland City Council

City leaders are set to face a grilling over their decision to spend more than £7.5million to take control of the company responsible for regenerating the Vaux site and Seaburn.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 5:51 pm

Concerns were raised at the time over the move by oppisition councillors, who said it was ‘impossible’ to say whether the deal was a good one.

The firm was set up in 2014 as a partnership between Sunderland City Council and stricken construction giant Carillion to lead regeneration projects on Wearside.

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Councillor Michael Dixon

And now the circumstances of the purchase could be put under the microscope at a special meeting of the council’s Economic Prosperity Scrutiny Committee.

Coun Michael Dixon, of the city council’s opposition Conservative group, said: “My concern was whether we were given the opportunity to scrutinise any decision made – I read what happened, but it’s never come to this committee.

“We’ve had [former Siglion chief executive] John Seager twice, but then I read about massive changes taking place and my concern is that we’ve missed an opportunity or not been given an opportunity to scrutinise it.”

Coun Dixon was speaking at a meeting of the committee on June 11, and was backed by Labour councillor Julia Jackson, who added: “A lot of members of the public are concerned and it does need to be scrutinised.”

An artist's impression of how the new development on the Vaux site will look when it's finished.

Coun Jackson also requested more information on plans to replicate Newcastle Stack complex of bars and restaurants at Seaburn.

The committee agreed to try and arrange a special meeting to focus on Siglion in July.