Coventry City Council leader George Duggins has responded to why he was not at the meeting on Thursday in Westminster with all the other parties involved in the Ricoh Arena row.
Speaking in a statement to the Coventry Observer who posted a number of questions to Councillor Duggins who sent the Council solicitor Julie Newman to the meeting held by Jeremy Wright MP which Coventry City and Sisu also attended.
Duggins said: “The reason why Julie attended on behalf of the Council is as follows. The primary aim is to encourage SISU to drop all legal action and to move forward and this has been the stipulation of WASPS before any further agreement is reached, this needs to happen now as time is running out.
“It is Julie Newman as the City Solicitor and the Council’s most senior legal officer who has the authority to settle, withdraw or otherwise act as appropriate in relation to legal proceedings and to give effect to decisions to act in the Council’s interest. It would be Julie Newman who would confirm consent to the Court if any application had been made by SISU to withdraw proceedings; unfortunately SISU has chosen not to do this. You will note after yesterday’s meeting we are where we began much as I anticipated.
“I do not accept for one minute that I will be the Council Leader who will preside over Coventry City Football Club leaving the Ricoh that is a decision for the owners and the owners alone. It was they who left the Ricoh in 2013 and it will be they who can avoid a repeat in 2019. David Johnson’s excellent article points to “..enough judges to form a football team, ruling on various stages of legal action.
“I will be making a Leaders statement on Tuesday, and have a series on interviews lined up with the BBC in which all aspects of the situation will be dealt with.”