Observations on Town Hall

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Re: Tom Pindar’s views on Scarborough Town Hall.

Having read, and re read, Tom Pindar’s observations in the Evening News on the proposed sell-off of the Town Hall, I have to say that most of what is reported is such gobbledygook that I am still not completely clear what he is actually trying to say.

However, from what I can understand I should like to make a few observations of my own.

Firstly Mr Pindar points out that ‘confusion, emotion and politics have been clouding the debate’. Reversing the order in which he raises these points, it is worth noting at the outset that so far there has been no debate and had it not been for councillors like me, voting to have the whole sale reviewed, there would be no debate.

The Conservative political leadership of the council initially decided that they would sell off the Town Hall without giving those who actually own the property, the people of the Borough of Scarborough, the opportunity to debate whether or not they want to sell it. This arbitrary decision created the highly charged outbursts of “emotion” and caused a great deal of the “confusion”. Consequently if there has been any “clouding” of the issue it has come from our officers and the arrogant attitude of the present political leadership.

He then goes on to say that we need somewhere, ‘with dignity and quality, that is impressive for councillors to meet and welcome inward investors, conference customers and Royals’. Well if this is the criteria for a Town Hall, and I have no problem with his depiction, then this is exactly what we already have; so why sell it? No new building on an industrial estate can remotely compete with the grandeur of our existing Town Hall.

As for his comments that the ‘anti change people should take an objective look at the monstrous inefficiency and running costs of the town hall offices’ that is exactly what both the “anti” and “for” campaigners are now able to do. Had the present leadership had its way the Town Hall would already be sold and we would have had no opportunity to assess whether staying in the present Town Hall or buying a new property was the best value for ratepayers.

Lastly looking at his comments on the present state of the Town Hall and the unsatisfactory conditions in which our staff have to work, it has to be asked, who has allowed their place of work, and our civic meeting place, to deteriorate to the extent it has? The culprits, as I am sure Mr Pindar knows only too well, are those who now want to sell it.

Therefore, anyone who, perhaps like Mr Pindar, is campaigning to disrupt such sensible debate does us no favours and is unworthy of respect. However, fortunately the council has enough members who, like me, realise this and are prepared to do their positive duty and investigate the matter. Anything less, Mr Pindar, would definitely not be worthy of public respect.

Cllr Dr Norman Murphy

Independent Councillor

Northstead Ward

Town Hall

Scarborough