Town Hall safer in arts group's hands; Letters.
DEAR Editor, I was astounded to read that Mr Johnson both wishes for Sutton Coldfield Town Hall to remain in the custodianship of the local authority and to be preserved for future public use (Keep the Town Hall in the hands of the public, Post, February 1).
Mr Johnson is vehemently opposed to the Town Hall being sold off for development, and is almost apoplectic with worry that the "majority Conservative group" on Sutton Coldfield Town Council are looking to make a quick buck by disposing of a public asset.
I might point out that the Labour-led Birmingham City Council are the local authority who own the building, have already sold most of it off to developers for apartments and have neglected to carry out critical structural repairs to the tune of PS3 million thus far.
How could anyone envision the building being any worse off outside of Labour-led Birmingham City Council? SCART, a community based arts organisation made up of local volunteers, took over the running of the building in 2017 and have since surpassed every financial projection. They now wish to manage the ownership through a trust, so they can secure its future and raise charitable and grant funding.
You'd prefer that the building remained in public ownership Mr Johnson? Why don't you use some of the contacts you have acquired as the Labour Party's Sutton Coldfield agent over the years and request the Labour leadership of Birmingham City Council cough up the PS3 million they owe the building? Perhaps you'll fare better than the town council and its 90,000 residents have.
Finally, Mr Johnson's accusation that anyone will be profiting from the transfer of ownership of this asset.
SCART are a great local organisation prepared to take on the onerous task of fundraising millions of pounds. It is deplorable that a representative of the Labour Party would so publicly criticise an organisation who have strived tirelessly to find a solution to their problem.
Councillor Clare Horrocks (Con), Four Oaks Ward, Sutton Coldfield Town Council
Sutton Coldfield Town Hall