Hall should be town council’s

I WAS both shocked and surprised at the article regarding Huntingdon Town Hall (July 11). It suggests that Huntingdonshire District Council and Malcolm Sharp have a problem with the Town Hall in Huntingdon. As a former mayor and councillor in Huntingdon,

I WAS both shocked and surprised at the article regarding Huntingdon Town Hall (July 11).

It suggests that Huntingdonshire District Council and Malcolm Sharp have a problem with the Town Hall in Huntingdon. As a former mayor and councillor in Huntingdon, maybe I could help.

Last year, Huntingdon Town Council passed a resolution formally requesting that the Town Hall be handed back to the town council and therefore be looked after and paid for by the townspeople to reduce the burden on the district as a whole. It must be emphasised that the Courts Service has had the building on a repairing lease basis and the bulk of the costs to restore the building should fall to the Ministry of Justice.

It could be said that the Town Hall had been stolen from the people of Huntingdon, when the transfer from Huntingdon and Godmanchester Borough Council took place, and that it was rightfully an asset of the town, having been funded by public subscription.

I truly believe the Town Hall should be in the custody of the town council, which is elected by the townspeople of Huntingdon. I also believe that there is no amount of money that should not be spent restoring this magnificent building to its original glory. Having said this, it will become a matter of a long drawn out discussion and, in the end, the mighty district will do what it wants to. Mr Sharp mentions the set up of a trust. This was put to the town council and rejected unanimously.

Your article also mentions the town's assembly rooms on the top floor: you give the impression these are no longer in use. The "civic suite" comprises the assembly room, the council chamber and the mayor's parlour and is used regularly by both the council and others such as the Coroner's Court. Disabled access is a problem and, with this in mind, the town council has been trying for at least eight years to agree a scheme for a lift in the town hall and have funding set aside to pay for it.

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I have been called arrogant with regard to my views on the Town Hall, but I believe this is an asset of the town and should not be controlled by the district.

Why should the people of Ramsey, St Ives, St Neots etc have to shoulder the bill? It's a Huntingdon building and therefore should be a Huntingdon problem.

DOUG McILWAIN, St Neots Road, Sandy

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