Colnbrook councillor calls for full public consultation on future of old Town Hall site
Colnbrook’s Councillor Dexter Smith has put forward a ‘Rule 14’ motion to give the public and councillors the opportunity to determine the future of the old Town Hall site.
The motion calls for a full public consultation and then for all councillors rather than just Cabinet to be given the right to decide the building’s future in 2019. It will be debated at Tuesday’s full Council meeting having been proposed under ‘Rule 14’ by Cllr Smith and seconded by fellow Conservative, Councillor Rayman Bains who represents Upton ward.
Currently the building is in temporary use by Claypots Primary School, but that permission will expire in 2019.
THE MOTION: "This Council resolves to undertake a full public consultation within the next three months on the future of the Old Town Hall, and the setting of this locally listed building of character, after September 2019, when the present agreement for it to be used as an annex to Claycots School comes to an end. The consultation should assess the strength of public support for the Old Town Hall either being returned for use by the Council for civic purposes or continuing to be used for education or some other purpose. The Council’s scrutiny process would then review the results and develop options for Cabinet; but any ultimate decisions impacting on the future of the Old Town Hall core building, including its usage, beyond September 2019, should be brought back to Full Council for final determination."
The building was opened in 1937 as as the town’s population ballooned, a year before the Slough officially became a town. But it became unloved in the 1970s and part of the building became dilapidated. However, attempts to demolish it failed in 2008 after a concerted campaign from residents and a petition handed in to Downing Street.
In February 2010, campaigners failed to get it registered as a Grade II-listed building because it was not deemed to be of “sufficient architectural or historic interest”.
In March 2011 the Council announced that Claycots Primary School had been chosen to take over the site after bids were invited from schools in the town. But the decision was temporary only, with permission for use by the school only from 2012 until 2019.
Last month the Planning Committee threw out an “ugly” design for an extension to the school building. Cllr Smith, who sits on the Committee, said at the time:
“It looks monstrous and totally out of character with a building we consider to have a lot of character. I just think it’s overbearing. It is violating the character and setting of a building of a local importance.”
The meeting will take place at The Centre on Farnham Road, Slough, from 7pm.