Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Preston Vision Board - Who They Are

Save The Ribble has found out the identities of the members of the Preston Vision Board - the group that, with the support of Preston City Council, and consultancy firm GVA Grimley has published glossy leaflets advocating the building of a barrage across the Ribble and 4000 houses in the greenbelt nearby.

The members are largely representatives of local quangos, but who the few private sector representatives are makes very interesting reading.

First of all, of course, is Grosvenor Estates - a major property developer, belonging to the 3rd richest man in the country.

Also interesting is Jeremy Gorick, he is joint managing director of Flexcrete, a company that "manufactures a range of concrete repair materials and protective coatings for buildings and civil engineering structures, the water industry and marine structures, as well as specialist products such as car park decking systems and waterproof floor coatings".

So the situation is that we have representatives of a firm that supplies sprayed concrete technologies used in the construction of marinas, and a firm who's business is the development of housing and commercial properties, advocating the construction of an enormous marina, and the development of large amounts of housing and commercial properties along the Ribble, and being supported in these plans with public money from the NWDA, and the time of Preston and South Ribble Council Officers. Council officers who are incidentally paid by local council tax payers - who don't want to see the beautiful countryside by the Ribble turned into a housing estate, and it's precious environment destroyed by a barrage.

Here's the list of members, as supplied by Nicola Turner, Preston City Vision Manager:

Malcom McVicar (UCLAN)
Jeremy Gorick (Iotech/Liquid Plastics/Flexcrete)
(SEE CORRECTION regarding Mr Gorick's current business interests BELOW)
Keith Scott (Retired Architect)
Steve Jackson (New Reg Dot Com)
Grosvenor Estates
Khalid Saifullah (ABF Ent)
Alan Roff (Preston Strategic Partnership); (& UCLan)
David Borrow MP
Paul Spooner (English Partnership)
Jim Carr (Preston City Council)
Steve Dean (LCDL)
Jean Hunter (SRBC)
Denis Taylor (Lancashire Economic Partnership)

Jeremy Gorick has since contacted us and informed us that while he was in the past joint managing director of this company, he no longer has any connection whatsoever with Flexcrete (SEE COMMENTS BELOW). We thank Mr Gorick for contacting us and we are pleased to make it clear that Mr Gorick is a FORMER managing director of Flexcrete, but has now severed all his connections with the company.


At 11:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's unacceptable that unelected people with a clear vested interest in going against what local residents want to see on the river and green spaces should be pushing the Riverworks barrage, water sports park, and building developments along our riverbank and on our greenbelt! Local Democracy? Don't make me laugh.

Jabberwocky, Ribbleside resident.

At 8:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local democracy may be the one thing that stands in their way. The COuncil has the final say over accepting NWDA funding. They accepted the funding then, but that was for the Docks. When the vote comes to the COuncil over accepting that money for future things like the barrage, it will be local democracy that can stop the strategy in its tracks by voting NO. This is the right time to put pressure on your local councillors and local election candidates to come clean about how they intend to vote - don't let them get away with no comment.

D-Gen X
Strive, seek, find; never yield

At 5:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Misinformation, half truths and assumptions are stock in trade for those wanting to twist opinion in their favour.

So the facts are as follows:

Flexcrete Limited has not existed as a trading entity for 2 years and was wound up 12 months ago. The business never manufactured products that could be used to construct marinas. Their product were designed to repair old and defective concrete.

My motivations for being involved in the Vision Board stem from a belief that business has a part to play in developing the City and that all businesses have a role to play in developing their local community.

Could I ask readers to question the motivations of the persons who misinformed them and to ask you to ask yourself how much other information presented might have been spun to support a particular view.

Finally please write to me directly at Iotech House, Miller Street, Preston if you wish to understand my motivations for my involvement with the Vision Board.

Jeremy Gorick

At 7:32 pm, Blogger Reigh Belisama said...

We apologise if we have misrepresented Mr Gorick or his company, but the information regarding Vision Board members has been, until recently, unavailable to the public. We found the information regarding Mr Gorick and his business interests was available on the internet at the Common Wealth Games Business Club here:
and states:
'Flexcrete Limited manufactures a range of concrete repair materials and protective coatings for buildings and civil engineering structures, the water industry and marine structures, as well as specialist products such as car park decking systems and waterproof floor coatings, at its manufacturing complex at Fishwick Park, Preston. In addition to Jeremy’s position as Joint Managing Director of Flexcrete Limited, Jeremy is also Managing Director of Flexcrete’s sister company, Liquid Plastics Limited, which manufactures seamless flooring systems and protective coatings for roofs, walls and hygiene control.'

We can be forgiven for thinking that these products might be useful in the creation of waterside developments.

We do not deliberately provide misinformation, and all of our articles are as thoroughly researched as possible, and we always provide our sources of information. It does not serve OUR interests to mislead members of the public as we ARE members of the public. We accept that Mr Gorick might be public-spirited, but we do consider the membership of the Vision Board to be predominantly representative of business interests, and we would question whether or not business interests are always consistent with the interests of the local community (that's us) and our local environment. A number of Preston City Councillors are also questioning the remit and membership and unaccountability of the Vision Board...

We are happy to write to Mr Gorick for further information, and can assure him that we will do so.

At 7:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou for posting my comments.

It says much about your commitment to promoting a fair and reasonable debate.

I am more than happy to discuss my company and my personal motivations for my involvement locally with any interested party at any time.

Jeremy Gorick

At 10:09 am, Blogger Reigh Belisama said...

Our intention has always been to ensure there is a fair debate Mr Gorick, hence our desire to find out exactly who and what is pursuing the Riverworks barrage and the riverside and housing developments earmarked for our green spaces, particularly given the serious concerns raised by environmental bodies, and our own wishes - as the people who live here - for our River, green spaces, and our environment.

In the interests of fair and open debate, we think it might be more pertinent for us to continue this conversation here where it is publicly available than by private letter.

One thing we would particularly like to clarify from your email...

You say that Flexcrete has now ceased trading, and is/was not involved in manufacturing products which could construct marinas, yet the Flexcrete website itself at dated Copyright Flexcrete Technologies Limited 2007 features a rather enormous barrage or dam-like structure on its home page, and states:

After 22 years based in Preston, the Flexcrete factory and offices have relocated to Tomlinson Road in Leyland. With sales expanding at home and overseas, the move was essential in order to increase both storage and production capacity.'

It also states that Flexcrete products are now being used to fix leakage on the Panama Canal with Flexcrete's Fastfill...

...and more pertinently that 'Flexcrete’s range of purpose designed marine mortars, sprayed mortars and unique cementitious coatings are based on the Company’s own highly advanced microsilica, polymer and fibre technology. This affords optimum application and performance in wet, chloride-laden environments and offers excellent resistance to wash-out.
Flexcrete marine products can be installed between tides to damp substrates and will cure under water to form a resilient, durable finish that resists abrasion and chloride ion diffusion. All Flexcrete products are manufactured with sustainable development in mind and the Company is committed to providing environmentally aware solutions.'

So please could you explain why we are mistaken in thinking that Flexcrete:

a) still exists as a company;

b) is involved in marine technology.

We look forward to your reply.

At 3:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmm......I clearly have a credibility problem here.

You have in a way answered the question in your post. Flexcrete Limited ceased to trade and sold it's assets and Intellectual Property to individuals who formed a brand new company which they named Flexcrete Technologies Limited (mentioned in your post as the copyright holder of the website) with which I have no connection in any way. A visit to the Companies House website will confirm this.

Hope this helps.

Jeremy Gorick

At 7:10 pm, Blogger Reigh Belisama said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:25 pm, Blogger Reigh Belisama said...

Thanks for your reply Mr Gorick, we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.

So, you used to be Managing Director of Flexcrete which is iinvolved with, amongst other things, marine technology, but you now have no connection with this company...

So does this leave your current business interests as Managing Director of Liquid Plastics, manufacturing plastic based waterproof and structural coating products for the construction industry?

At 10:46 pm, Blogger Riversider said...

Hi Jeremy,
I wrote the original post, and did the research for it, so it is my responsibility.

It is clear that I got it wrong, I assumed that your connection with Flexcrete was still current rather than merely historical, and I was obviously wrong in this assumption.

I am happy to stand corrected on this detail, and apologise to you and our readers for my mistake, we will be posting a correction statement soon.

Unlike Preston City Council's leaders, we are ready to admit when we have made a mistake, rather than hanging on to it and pursuing it to the grim death, as they are with this crazy barrage idea.

You have done well, in that in well over 100 posts on this blog, you are the first to spot a single factual innaccuracy!

At 8:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Riversider.

Jeremy Gorick

PS: Why do you and your fellow posters operate under a cloak of anonymity. Given your allegations of secrecy it seems a little unusual particularly when you freely publish others names?

At 9:44 am, Blogger Reigh Belisama said...

Hi Jeremy,

There is no suspicious activity here, we chose our blogger names as direct references to Ribble-related subjects as this helps to raise the profile of the blog on the internet with search engines etc. It was also a sensible decision given that the opinions voiced on this blog do not belong only to the four editors, but to a great number of local residents in Preston, South Ribble, the Fylde, and Sefton... I personally am in regular contact with a large number of Ribbleside residents.

When we attend meetings, give talks, organise wildlife walks and other events, make statements to the Press, or any other non-blogging event, we give our names freely.

My name is Jane Brunning, and I'm a local resident in Penwortham. Whether my fellow Ribblesiders wish to publish their own names is their decision, the use of our pseudonyms is entirely for blogging purposes. You will note that when we publish comments from local people, this is often with initials for last names as not everyone wants to see their name in lights and some residents have specifically asked not to be fully named. In a situation where we have powerful bodies such as key decision makers who wield a great deal of power over ordinary peoples' lives, those ordinary people often feel nervous about being named, and as such, there is a long tradition of the less powerful using pseudonyms. Even letters written in to the local newspapers often appear with no names and addresses in print, presumably because the author wishes to remain anonymous, particularly if criticising those bodies with power. Therefore the pseudonyms Atlantic Salmon, Reigh Belisama, Riversider, and Allotment Plotter represent the voices of a great many ordinary residents.
Hope this helps.

At 9:44 am, Blogger Riversider said...

Hi Jeremy,
we are members of the public who ask for openness and accountability from people making radical decisions about Preston and the Ribble's future involving huge sums of money, decisions that could affect our homes and the environment we love.

We are not in positions where we make those kind of decisions.

Your name was announced to the public, along with the names of the other members of the Vision Board by Nicola Turner of Preston City Council at the Central Area Forum on Thursday 15th March 2007.

At 11:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jane. Nice to meet you!

I also understand your comments Ribblesider.

Jeremy Gorick


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