‘Stop wasting money on cruise terminal’ urges Lib Dem

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OPPOSITION councillors have called for a halt on spending on a riverside berth for HMS Illustrious, saying the project “might never happen.”

Lib Dem councillor Claire Thomas said officials told her £540,000 had gone into the project so far.

She believes Hull Council should stop spending until the Government makes a decision about the warship’s future.

It comes after The Yorkshire Post revealed that the terminal - which could also be used by cruise ships and is aimed at boosting the number of tourists visiting Hull in its City of Culture year and beyond - could cost nearly £17m.

Council leader Steve Brady has approved spending £380,000 on the initial planning stages as the first part of a four-stage process which could cost the taxpayer £1.7m, excluding around £15m construction costs.

The council is bidding for the warship to be berthed in the city in 2017 and 2018. It insisted the total cost of the project, including establishing a northern branch of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, so far was £460,000.

Coun Thomas said it was sounding “less and less likely” that HMS Illustrious was coming to Hull, adding: “So far from the information I’ve seen I can’t see a strong case for why you would be spending this amount of money on something which may or may not happen.”

However the council defended the cost saying the projects “all focus on making Hull a world class visitor destination and creating a lasting legacy from Hull’s tenure as City of Culture. “

It said the benefits would far outweigh the cost and should attract significant private sector investment.