Applause for 10 councillors who broke rank over Futurist

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Ten councillors broke ranks and attended a public meeting organised by those looking to save the Futurist theatre.

On Wednesday last week Save our Futurist group held the meeting at the YMCA and more than 350 people showed up to lend their support.

All of Scarborough’s huge number of 50 borough councillors were invited to attend – with 10 took up the invitation.

Those who did were asked to stand by the crowd and were wildly applauded for turning out to listen to the public, who are against the theatre’s demolition and sale to Flamingo Land.

Organiser Patricia David said: “The amount of positive response has been heart-warming and inspiring. Can the council, elected by the people for the people, really act in direct opposition to this groundswell of opinion?

“It is important to recognise that some 10 more councillors did accept our invitation to attend and were brave enough to respond to a request by a member of the audience to stand up.

“They were applauded appreciatively in return. We had received some apologies for absence and two refusals.”

The councillors present included representative from the Conservative, Labour, Green and UKIP groups, as well as independent Janet Jefferson.

Theatres’ Trust architecture adviser Claire Appleby was interviewed on BBC Radio York discussing why the Futurist is in the national Theatre Buildings at Risk Register.

However, at Monday’s Full Council meeting council
leader Derek Bastiman poured cold water on the protesters hopes.

He told councillors they’re now only looking at proposals to demolish the Futurist and clear the site.

At the meeting of all Scarborough borough councillors, which featured a protest outside from campaigners, Cllr Bastiman said the decision to close the Futurist had been made.

Proposals to come before them early next year would be “about its demolition and the cost of clearing the site” he added as the seafront eyesore continues – years after closure.

Labour leader Cllr Steve Siddons has urged the borough council to be ‘open and transparent’ in all its dealings regarding the Futurist proposals, which are likely to come back to council in January.