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East of England Liberal Democrats

The Great Tory Sell Off: Town Hall to go next?

July 19, 2015 9:43 PM
Originally published by Brentwood Liberal Democrats

Brentwood town Hall sell off 2015 (Brentwood Lib Dems)

Brentwood Town Hall - saved by people power in 2011 from a Tory sell off of the town's assets - seems to be heading back to the "disposal list" after the existence of a consultancy's report was revealed this weekend.

In 2011, residents marched through the town to the iconic building to show the depth of feeling in the town. Despite a cross-party working group spending years working with businesses and local services to share the building, it would seem that, meanwhile, the Conservatives were working away in the background to sell the building as soon as they could get away with it.

What is more worrying is that no-one from the Accord Administration commissioned the report during their time in office (June 2014 - May 2015) and, yet, the report is dated 20th April 2015 leaving some very serious questions about how the report came to be compiled.

The report concludes that

"...there is a compelling case for pursuing a sale of the existing Town Hall for residential purposes and relocating the Council offices into a purpose built new facility in the northern car park."

which is completely at odds with the wishes of many residents who live in the town.

Cllr Barry Aspinell, leader of the Lib Dems on Brentwood Council and council leader at the time this report was commissioned, said:

"I had absolutely no knowledge of this report being commissioned so it is quite clear that I didn't commission it. We need to know who did so and how much it cost.

"I am appalled to see the Conservatives hell bent on selling off our town's assets no matter what the public want and feel sorry for all the organistions I was working with when I was leader of the council and wished to bring together key agencies and businesses who wanted to thrive in the town."