Calls to recover £50,000 Torquay seafront balloon debt
TORBAY Council is prepared to take legal action to recover the £50,000 it says it is owed by the operators of the seafront balloon.
Campaigners have been urging the council to recover the money after the balloon venture on Torre Abbey gardens collapsed.
A petition was started and a protest meeting held calling for a full inquiry into why the operators of the Hi-Flyer Balloon had not paid rent for several years.
Campaigners are also concerned about the state of the site of the former balloon, grounded after it was destroyed by gales in January.
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The claim that operator Lindstrand had allegedly not paid any rent since 2009 due to a legal dispute between the council and operator arose after a Freedom of Information request by two residents.
Ward councillor Jenny Faulkner requested an update on the legal action at the full council meeting. Mayor Gordon Oliver said they were still in negotiation with the operators. He said: "There continues to be extensive dialogue between the parties and their respective solicitors with a view to resolving this matter without recourse to the courts.
"However, if the matter is not resolved in the near future the council will commence proceedings for recovery of the debt. Given that situation is probably not appropriate to comment further. But we are keen to see a swift conclusion."