RE: Sale of Town Hall

Open letter to Cllr T Fox

Council Members

Scarborough Borough Council

July 9, 2012

Further to our earlier correspondence, I have been asked by my members to write one final letter on the subject of the proposed sale of the Town Hall and its relocation to an out of town site at the former Skipton Building Society Headquarters.

Firstly, we would like to thank the council for allowing a thorough and full debate on the issue and also for taking the time to explain the situation to South Bay Traders Association representatives. As a business association we are not blind to the temptations of the proposal and acknowledge the council has a duty to make best use of its budget and fixed assets. That said we believe that the relocation of such a significant economic generator to an out of town location would be at best unwise and at worst an act of civic and economic vandalism which has the potential to damage the heart of our community for decades to come. We therefore stand by the points raised in our earlier correspondence and would urge members to think very carefully before taking a decision which by its very example will set a planning precedence to validate and encourage future out of town relocations. A move which we believed is in direct contravention of the Government’s current planning recommendations contained in the Town Centre First initiative.

Not all things can be valued in pounds, shillings and pence and we are aware that civic traditions can be seen by some as old fashioned, irrelevant and costly. We would disagree, it is this very civic spirit which defines the community in which we live and binds us all together as one, from Danby, through Whitby to Filey and Snainton through Falsgrave to Sandside. We believe that this proposal will marginalise the civic aspect, damaging and undermining an important dimension of governance. We would also like to draw your attention to the letter of objection sent to members by the the five former Chief Planning Officers who were until recently your most trusted advisors, for them to object so eloquently and passionately should be of grave concern to all and I respectfully suggest that you heed the points raised most carefully.

Finally the South Bay Traders Association is not against the redevelopment of the St Nicolas Street, King Street, Futurist area, in fact quite the reverse, we came together as a group in 1989 to support an earlier scheme put forward by Tony Glazebrook. So recognising the need to improve working conditions and bearing in mind that the Town Hall is an asset owned by the borough would it not make good fiscal sense to use some of the promised “Potash Dividend” to fund the redevelopment of the present Town Hall and fold it in as a strong Keystone freehold partner to a revised development proposal.

On behalf of the members of the South Bay Traders Association

John Senior


South Bay Traders Association