‘Outrageous!’ MP slams Sam Smith’s Brewery over Tadcaster Bridge snub

Nigel Adams, left, and Robert Goodwill at Tadcaster Bridge. Photograph: Richard McDougall
11 Jan 2016 @ 9.28 pm
| News

“The decision by Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery not to grant permission for a temporary footbridge across the Wharfe on their land adjacent to Sainsbury’s is outrageous.”

Don’t mince your words, Nigel Adams.

The Selby and Ainsty Tory MP hit out at the famous brewery in Tadcaster after it refused to allow a temporary footbridge to be built on its land.

It would reconnect the two sides of Tadcaster after part of the old stone bridge was washed away by the floods.

Mr Adams hit out after meeting with the government’s flood envoy and Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill in Tadcaster.

tadcaster-bridge-collapse-1

Flashback to engineers checking the damaged bridge at the end of December. Photographs: Nigel Holland
Flashback to engineers checking the damaged bridge at the end of December. Photographs: Nigel Holland

The brewery’s decision not to co-operate with the footbridge idea was “completely contrary to the community spirit shown by town residents and businesses since the Boxing Day flooding”, Mr Adams added.

He said Mr Goodwill

is of the same opinion as me that the Brewery owner should immediately reconsider his position and allow the construction of the footbridge, which is so badly needed by residents and traders to reconnect the town.

Alternative positioning of the footbridge is being actively considered now to ascertain whether a different location is feasible given the size of the structure.

Additionally, every legal avenue is being examined to see whether the initial desired location can still be utilised, despite the landowners unwillingness to cooperate.

‘Extraordinary decision’

The government has announced £3.3m funding for Tadcaster Bridge and a temporary footbridge.

“It is, in my view, an extraordinary decision for one individual to unilaterally decide that this assistance is not a good use of taxpayer’s money,” Mr Adams said.

“I’m sure that many people in the town will share that view.”

In an email to North Yorkshire County Council, revealed by the York Press, Samuel Smith Brewery said the £500K earmarked for the footbridge would be “a most wasteful proposed public expenditure, a typical short-term PR based sound-bite from central and local government”.

It also blamed the council for failing to maintain the bridge, leading to the collapse.