Sheringham councillors make u-turn decision and vote to stay in town hall

Sheringham Town Hall.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham Town Hall.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Sheringham councillors have decided to stay in their historic home after voting to continue their services from the traditional town hall.

The u-turn decision was made at a special meeting, called to settle once and for all whether they were to stay in the 100-year-old building or move to the new community centre.

Members originally agreed in January to relocate the clerks to the £2m centre in Holway Road.

But after residents urged them not to move, amid fears the hall would be sold, and following the debate at yesterday's meeting they voted unanimously to stay put.

Mac McGinn, who is also community centre chairman, said it would be 'foolish' for the council to move and chamber, and Peter Cox said the town hall was the 'envy' of other local authorities.

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He added: 'We have to be in a place that's the most accessible to our residents, this town hall is far more accessible for more residents.'

While voting to stay in the hall, Madeleine Ashcroft also called for a 'compromise' and suggested that some meetings be held in the community centre.

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'People in this town have no idea what's up here and no idea how we operate, but at least they would have the opportunity to see us at work,' she added.

Councillors also agreed to refurbish the town hall's three offices, and move the clerks into one of the downstairs areas and rent out the other two spaces, to generate income.

Members also discussed a request from a businessman who wants to move his web marketing company into one the community centre's rooms.

The meeting was told the potential tenant wanted to rent the space for two years, and hire another of the rooms on an ad hoc basis for meetings.

Some members were concerned allowing the proposal would set a precedent and questioned details of the agreement, such as security and hours.

Mr McGinn said these details would be taken into consideration and clarified 20pc of the centre could be booked for commercial use.

Members agreed to continue negotiating with the prospective tenant.

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