LETTERSFrom Brian Greening, Newport:
TWO articles recently attracted my attention (CP, 17-02-12).
The first was the laudable offer by our parish council to the IW Council of £20,000 as a contribution to smarten up the exterior of our historic Guildhall. However, could I suggest they have got the cart in front of the horse.
For years I have been campaigning, with others, to use it as, among other things, a heritage centre.
Each time the reply has been the same. The first floor is not fit for purpose and requires money being spent on it.
We are now told by Cllr Abraham, who has the glorious title of Cabinet member responsible for heritage, (something with our town’s record on the subject I would not advertise), that "a paper about the building would be discussed soon". Sorry, but what has taken all the time?
The Island’s historic archives are scattered in stores and warehouse across the Island and are rarely seen by the public.
The County Record Office, whose staff do a remarkable job, deserve better facilities than those at the cramped Hillside premises.
If it is simply a case of repairing a floor, then get on with it. Take the parish council’s offer as a down payment and leave the exterior for another two years.
My guess is the paper will raise questions of health and safety and give exorbitant estimates as to remedial costs.
If they are not going to get the Guildhall up and running within 12 months, then sell it off to a local estate agent and use the money to reinstate a tourist information office or to fund the council’s adult social care budget that shamefully it tried to reduce recently and then incurred a nearly £200,000 bill in court costs.
That, incidentally, was the second article I referred to.
So that in 12 months’ time, when we list all the shameful actions of this council, could we be told was this reduction in service a decision of the full council or just Cllrs Mazillius and Pugh taking a delegated decision?
I note both stated lessons had been learnt — lessons, I might add, that have come at considerable cost.