Praise where due

SOMEWHAT surprisingly, St Ives Town Council voted unanimously to consider fully the proposal by Mike Purchas to renovate the Corn Exchange for £850,000. I am not given to praising the town council, but on this occasion I do. I have to say this welcome ne

SOMEWHAT surprisingly, St Ives Town Council voted unanimously to consider fully the proposal by Mike Purchas to renovate the Corn Exchange for £850,000.

I am not given to praising the town council, but on this occasion I do.

I have to say this welcome news was not greeted with unreserved joy by all those attending and there were those who doubted the sincerity of some councillors' actions.

This was hardly surprising given the number of knock-backs there has been over the last year. I recognise there is still a long way to go and Mr Purchas has yet to convince the council that this is a viable proposition. However, I did sense a willingness to find a way forward that would satisfy the wishes of the people of St Ives and be within acceptable financial limits. If this proves to be a genuine attempt by St Ives Town Council to resolve this contentious and damaging dispute, it will have my support.


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Perhaps it is not the right time to dwell on the reasons for the apparent change of heart or at least softening of view. There is no doubt, however, that the town council has been hugely influenced by the widespread affection and support for the building throughout the town. The commitment and hard work of the members of ACE have played a significant part in generating and highlighting this support.

When the time is right, when or if the new Corn Exchange becomes a reality, I would urge the town council to work closely with all the people of the town, including those who opposed the sale. In the end we are all trying to do what we think is in the best interest of St Ives and we can achieve so much more if we work together.

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TONY BURGESS, Needingworth Road, St Ives

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