THERE were further assurances last night (Thursday) that no decisions have been made on the future of Newport's iconic Guildhall.
The historic building is one of around 80 Isle of Wight Council buildings and public open spaces that could potentially be sold off between now and 2015.
Its possible sale sparked fury at Newport Parish Council which branded the authority 'dishonest and deceitful' this week.
The parish council had hoped to use cash from the authority's Economic Improvement Fund to spruce up the building, designed by John Nash, but was told earlier this year its proposal did not meet the council's criteria.
At last night's (Thursday) Overview and Scrutiny Committee, John Metcalfe, deputy director for the economy, tourism and leisure, reiterated that just because a property appeared on the council's annual capital receipts disposals programme, it did not necessarily mean it would be sold.
In respect of the Guildhall, Mr Metcalfe said the process had been very transparent and the position remained as set out last year.
Mr Metcalfe said a complete building condition survey was needed before options could be presented.
Cllr Dawn Cousins, IW councillor for Newport North, said she was dismayed by the parish council's assertions.
She said: "I am the ward councillor and I am working very closely with officers and we are working for a resolution."
Council boss, Steve Beynon, said in a statement today (Friday): "Inclusion of a property on this list does not guarantee that it will be declared surplus and offered for disposal but it does give an opportunity for people to come forward and offer a view about the future of a property that can be taken into account during the council's decision making process.
"Before a decision is taken on the future of any property, an appropriate process is followed.
"This includes a formal report being prepared detailing the reason for the disposal and the nature of the proposed transaction, giving members the chance to scrutinise any proposals before decisions are made. The public are also given the opportunity to ask questions and send in their views."
The Blackgang Viewpoint car park also appears on the list and the authority is currently in negotiations with a 'special purchaser'.
Scrutiny member, Cllr Jonathan Bacon, said last night he was interested in the reasons for sale, which were stated in council paperwork as "to protect local tourism".
He asked how that protection was being achieved and, given the Island's reliance on tourism, wondered whether the same aim should be pursued in respect of other assets on the list.
Mr Metcalfe said tourism would be protected because it was in the nature of the special purchaser's business. The council has declined to name the special purchaser because of commercial confidentiality reasons.
Deputy leader Cllr George Brown said: "I can give you an assurance we will bear in mind the prospective benefit to tourism and the economy when sites come onto this list."