St Ives councillor ‘baffled’ by rejected Octagon plan to council save money

10:27 04 April 2014

The Octagon, St Ives.

The Octagon, St Ives.

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A St Ives councillor is “utterly baffled” a plan to save the town council money was rejected.

Huntingdonshire District Council executive leader Councillor Jason Ablewhite offered St Ives Town Council use of the Octagon building, a former cattle sales yard, as a maintenance depot free for a year, then the freehold afterwards.

He said revitalising the building for about £40,000 would negate the need for a £70,000 maintenance depot and workshop at Hill Rise, for which last week the council ­submitted a planning application.

He told The Hunts Post: “The reason for rejecting is nonsense. There are plenty of vehicle movements in the bus station, adding a few more wouldn’t affect it and, for toilets, there is a public toilet at the bus station or at the Town Hall.”

Cllr Ablewhite said if the ­refurbishment worked as with Holt Island, volunteers could help repair the building, which could cost much less at about £10,000.

St Ives Mayor Councillor Nick Dibben said the maintenance building would end up saving the council money in the future.

HDC is working with St Ives Civic Society to look at ways of sharing the space to house a visitors’ centre and as a store for a pushcart and bins.

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