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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Funding threat to Ulverston building is 'gun to councillors' heads'

THE slashing of funds to an iconic building is being used as a “gun to the head” of councillors.

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CLLR PHIL LISTER

Ulverston Town Council is in talks with South Lakeland District Council over moving from its 120-year-old premises at the Town Hall, in Queen Street, to the Coronation Hall.

SLDC has threatened to pull its £330,000 per year funding to the Coro from the start of next year, and is “exploring options” which could secure the theatre and community venue’s future.

But at a meeting of Ulverston Town Council yesterday, Councillor Phil Lister blasted SLDC for showing “no interest” in keeping it open.

He said: “David Sykes (director of people and places at SLDC) made it absolutely clear; he has put a gun to our heads and cocked the trigger. If we don’t go he will shut the Coronation Hall, and he doesn’t seem to care if it is shut.”

Cllr Lister said the £1,000 per day cost of running the hall, quoted by SLDC, was the result of it being run “badly”.

Cllr Pat Jones said: “We have been threatened, move or lose it, which is utter blackmail.”

The council has agreed “in principle” to the move, subject to “detailed negotiation and final approval of the terms and conditions with SLDC, especially concerning security of tenure for the town council together with a sustainable future for the Coronation Hall.”

Cllr Colin Pickthall said: “This is the opening shot in a complex negotiation.”

Councillor Peter Thornton, leader of SLDC, said in a statement: “We feel that working together with the town council on this move would be a significant step to helping us to ensure the Coro has got a bright future.

“We are still working with the community group about the possibility of transferring control.

“We can’t afford to keep funding the Coronation Hall and these negotiations are all part of working hard to find the best way forward for the Coronation Hall and for the residents of Ulverston.’’

According to SLDC, one possible future use of the Town Hall could be for conversion to affordable housing.

Have your say

The Council who wasted Millions of pounds converting that school for the Romanian refugees who all fled to Barrow then they tore down the expensive white elephant.

Posted by Des on 28 July 2014 at 08:29

LOLLLL Keep Ulverston Special with more affordable housing!

Posted by Unbelievable on 27 July 2014 at 10:03

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