Would any reputable well-run business start a multi-million pound project without presenting to its board a comprehensive business plan? Our judgement is that the answer is no; and yet that is precisely what this council appear to have done.
A public body has a duty to make rational decisions and not decisions based on assumptions; decisions should be rooted in evidence. And yet to date the council has not evaluated potential demand for a new theatre, or produced a business plan. With £5.0m having been spent on designing the Civic Complex project, and with the threat of it costing over £90m to build it, we are wondering why these crucial, evidence-based materials have not been produced to steer decisions.
Councillors making decisions in the public interest should look at the available information and evidence and reach a considered view in light of their powers and duties. The problem comes when critical information, like a business plan, has not even been produced yet.
For further reading on “Decision Making By Public Bodies: How to avoid legal challenge” see here: www.fieldfisher.com