Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows has strongly opposed Travelodge’s proposal to strike a deal with North Lanarkshire Council to build a hotel in Motherwell.
As revealed in last week’s Times & Speaker the scheme would see the council provide a site, with the funding coming from the council a public works loan or another source and built on council land.
The council then keep the hotel and charge rents or sell it to Travelodge – the firm says the idea has already been rolled out by 12 local authorities in England and Wales,
Mrs Fellows likened the proposal to a “rehash” of Labour’s Public-Private Partnerships which has resulted in low quality buildings sometimes costing five or six times their actual cost.
She was also concerned Travelodge made their intentions public before the council had received any communication from them.
She said: “North Lanarkshire Council must immediately rule out any sale of council land to Travelodge. Council land should be used for council homes.
“It is extremely concerning that Travelodge’s proposals appeared in the news before NLC had even received it. And the proposal itself appears to be a rehash of Labour’s old Public-Private Partnerships where the council will provide the land and the funding to build facilities for Travelodge at great cost to the tax payer.
“Even if it would not cost the council, the council should not be so quick to sell off public land to private developers.
“I fully support the building of a hotel and the creation of jobs, but Travelodge are more than capable of buying their own land and building their own hotels.
“The Scottish Government has committed funding to local authorities to build 50,000 affordable homes during this Parliament – a minimum of 35,000 of which will be for social rent.
“Homes and public facilities are what public land should be used for.”