In response to the article Employee Speaks Out and Mr Edwards’ comments; there are many who share these thoughts and concerns. At the last meeting of the Scarborough Castle Ward Tenants and Residents Association strong views were expressed about the proposed move. An overwhelming majority of those present were emphatically against any move at all, either of the Town Hall functions or of the employees.
While the views of people have been publicised and the council has released certain figures these seem to be inadequate or misleading, with Mr Edwards carefully following through with what was asked of him by the working group and his superiors. However we have become aware that: It appears that there has been no displacement study carried out, ie a complete quantification of the full knock-on effect to the town centre of moving. It is not just the immediate spending from 340 public servants but a much more complicated, interrelated picture, which would be revealed with such a study; It is understood the £3m from the Homes and Communities Agency is NOT conditional on it being used for the acquisition of Prospect House and that although it cannot be spent on renovating or adapting the existing buildings, it could still be invested in the joint venture on parts of the wider Town Hall/Futurist site. This could open up other options such as new offices being built within this development.
A major part of Scarborough Borough Council’s funding (£2m) will apparently come from the Investment Management Plan – presumably generated by the Tesco deal. However this still has a number of hurdles to clear and there must be substantial cost implications in relocating the council depot; There seems to have been conflicting reports on the costs of retaining a Customer First presence in town, if the move takes place; To facilitate the intended partnership working with other organisations at Prospect House, it is understood that further extensions are already being planned for that building. At what cost?
A group of people have therefore placed an ePetition, under the provisions of the Democracy Act 2009, on the council website. This requests that the council undertake studies and provide more complete and unbiased figures to all council members. The borough council has to take further action if more than 500 people sign the petition. The ePetition runs only until July 18 and can be accessed online as follows: www.scarborough.gov.uk select the council tab then under Complaints and Feedback click on Petitions. The petition is: Cost of the Town Hall Move.
If you too are opposed to the move, please take the time to sign the ePetition. A decision on the move is due to be made by a meeting of Full Council on July 20 at 2pm, in the Town Hall, which the public can attend. It isn’t yet a done deal and there is still time – show that you care by attending the meeting if possible.
Tony Fenter and S Sheppard