As negotiations continue for Haverhill Town Council to acquire the former magistrates’ court building in Camps Road for use as a youth hub, the town’s deputy mayor has said Suffolk County Council should ‘not be forgiven’ for their role in the saga.
The town council was originally snubbed in its efforts to use the Burton Centre for this purporse, the county instead awarding the building to St Nicholas Hospice Care, so instead turned its attention to the former court.
A lease is currently being drawn up, with a template stating it would cost £12,000 a year – though this may just be a figure left on the draft document, with the town expecting to pay significantly less.
Speaking at Tuesday’s (September 24) town council meeting at the arts centre, Cllr Maureen Byrne thanked town clerk Will Austin for his ‘hard work’ in the negotiations, but said: “I don’t want to scupper anything but efvery time we have a discussion we need to remind them the residents of Haverhill think it should be gifted, and we have examples of them gifting buildings (such as the Chalkstone Middle School site to Care UK for the new Place Court).
“I expect at the end of the day there will be a cost, but I don’t think we can forgive or forget what has gone on as we (taxpayers) are paying for what we have already paid for.”
Mr Austin said the officers involved in the sale negotiations are ‘just doing their job’ to get the best deal for the county, and discussions over whether it should be gifted and where money would come from in the county to subsidise the lack of lease income must be directed at the councillors.
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, September 26) Echo.