Call for emergency meeting over future of Brentwood Town Hall

The Brentwood Liberal Democrats have called for an emergency meeting of the council while the future of the Town Hall remains unclear.

Lib Dem leader Cllr David Kendall (Pilgrims Hatch) told the Recorder that he thinks there is a lack of clarity over implementing what councillors voted for two weeks ago - to keep council services in the building and let unused space to local groups.

He said that the fact that as no information has been provided about the promised Town Hall Action Group means another council meeting is needed.

“The Tories may be split on this issue, but someone needs to show some leadership and get the show on the road,” he said.

“Who’s going to chair the Town Hall action group and what are its terms of reference going to be? If the council has its normal summer recess they’re not going to be looking at this until September. We believe residents deserve better.”

Council leader Louise McKinlay (Conservative, Hutton North) said: “The Lib Dems have not notified me of any request for an extra council meeting during recess but I have already arranged for the Town Hall committee to meet at the start of September to discuss the next steps.

“When there is more detail, it will come before members for review.”

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Two rebel Conservative councillors who voted with the Lib Dems over the future of the Town Hall have said they too would like more information about the future of the building.

Cllr William Lloyd (Conservative, Warley) said: “We made a decision two weeks ago to make sure the Town Hall remains on the site. If another full council meeting is required to make it work, we should be having one.”

Cllr Russell Quirk (Conservative, Hutton North) has been asked to chair the Town Hall Action Group but says he still hasn’t received details of what the job will entail or what the group will do, so cannot yet accept the role.

He said: “As I understand it (the emergency meeting), it’s a matter for the Mayor to decide. But I wouldn’t stand in the way of it, no one should stand in the way of an issue as important as the Town Hall.”

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