The leader of the council, Councillor Mike Badcock, thanked those who had come to the Finance and General Purposes meeting on such an inclement evening. Snow like tiny polystyrene balls was being blown about on the road outside.
Councillor Mike Badcock also said it was nice to be back in the splendid Council Chamber. We got there by way of the staircase that some people have been trying to protect from the Town Council’s plans to install a lift. There were lots of empty chairs with only seven members of public in attendance in the Council Chamber.
Before the meeting proper, Hester raised a couple of points about the short term use of the Abbey Hall, and Jim Halliday asked for a breakdown on what had been spent in capital costs of the £1.2m dowry that came with the Guildhall.
Then we came to questions raised at the previous Finance and General Purposes meeting. The leader said that the replacement Ock Bridge would be coming on 23rd March, and installed the week after that – weather permitting. In answer to the question about the BID (Business Improvement District) which some traders have not been happy about and asked the Town Council to facilitate a meeting, we were told (and I hope my hearing is correct) that the management company running the BID had handed in their notice, and there would be a meeting with the district council later this week to discuss matters. He also announced a Bun Throwing ceremony to commemorate the end of WWI on Saturday November 10th.
The committee then considered the answers given to about half of the questions from the public meetings. The Guildhall Committee will consider those more appropriate to their committee on Thursday. When all are approved they will be formally published on the Town Council web site.
The committee then considered the architect’s report on reopening the Abbey Hall – in the short term. There were outstanding questions about whether all the works quoted as a minimum were essential. So when that has been discussed, and the agreed minimum cost clarified, the report will go to the Regal Evesham who can decide whether to move forward to a formal offer on using the Abbey Hall. There are also other short term possibilities for the hall such as the internal market suggested by one member of the public, and previous users such a ADFAS returning.
Anyway, I had to leave at that point…