IT is encouraging to see that a High Court judge, in reviewing all the evidence, has concluded that St Ives Town Council may have a case to answer in relation to its conduct with regard to the sale of the Corn Exchange. This echoes what the people of the
IT is encouraging to see that a High Court judge, in reviewing all the evidence, has concluded that St Ives Town Council may have a case to answer in relation to its conduct with regard to the sale of the Corn Exchange.
This echoes what the people of the town have been saying for the past year.
Nonetheless, it is pleasing to see that common sense may now have broken out and the future of the building seems more positive.
However, the rather emotional statement that has been reported to have been made by the town clerk regarding the use of Corn Exchange funds for any legal costs needs to be commented upon.
It was council members themselves who voted, back in the summer, to use these funds for this purpose - a decision that they did not have to take.
IT has taken nearly two years and the recent dramatic legal intervention to break through St Ives Town Council's dogmatic insistence on selling the Corn Exchange to the highest bidder, apparently ignoring the pleas of the majority of the local townsfolk.
Yet still councillors cast aspersions on the economic viability of a Corn Exchange continuing on the traditional model.
We are all aware that historically it has proven itself to be economically viable, especially when properly managed.
If the town council gets its way and sells the Corn Exchange to a major national pub group, it would impose on our lovely town the social footprint of a major theme-park for pubs, leaving our streets smeared with the revolting debris of the night before and the definite risk of the whole of St Ives town centre descending into a play area for largely inconsiderate partygoers.
Is this the real example of the narrow-minded "economically viable" concepts that the council expounds as a long-term view of what it wants for our town? To clone it into just another of those lost towns that turn to national branding for a new identity?
It is not what I voted for. I want social viability for the whole cross-section of our society as well, maintaining the distinctive character of our own unique town for posterity. Economic viability is assured by retaining the existing character of the Corn Exchange.
I say, leave the local pub balance as it is, with its traditional and charming variations, and don't put them at risk from unfair competition. To venture down the path that has created alien nightlife in city centres all over the country will leave us the major losers.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN MORGAN