THE TOWN HALL SELL-OFF SCANDAL: JIM DONAGHIE COMMENTS

Jim Donaghie is a community activist committed to keeping the Town Hall in public hands. After last night’s announcement that the building will be recommended to full council to be sold to a church group with some pretty nasty views, he comments here:

Before I start I must declare my interest at this point, I strongly advocate the retention of the town hall for use within the community.
Many of you will be aware that Broxtowe Borough Council, (BCC), are currently looking at the disposal of Beeston Town Hall. The point which has now been reached is that the council are preferring “community” bids as opposed to developer offers. The process has reached the point where two bidders remain, the Beeston Town hall Community, (BTHC) bid and a bid from The Redeemer Church, a “plant” offshoot of the large Cornerstone church situated on Castle Boulevard in Nottingham.
The BTHC bid centres around leasing the Town Hall from the council and running it as a charity run community hub, offering meeting space for local clubs and organisations with the possibility of expanding into other areas of community benefit.
The Redeemer church bid is purely to turn the Town Hall into one of their churches, where they can hold Sunday services and host other church-related group activities through the week.
In the interests of investigating whether both organisations could benefit from use of the town hall, meetings were held between the two groups. The BTHC group was more than happy to offer the church the use of the town hall on Sundays and rooms through the week for their groups, however the church position was that they wanted sole ownership of the building for their own use and therefore a compromise could not be reached.
It has now been announced today, that the recommendations of the BCC officers to the council, is that the Town hall be sold to the Redeemer church.
Whilst I accept I am biased on the subject and this may be seen as sour grapes I’d like to make a couple of points that may not have been obvious or known.
When the church says theirs is a “community” bid, they mean their own community not the wider community of Beeston. On their own website, they declare that the church is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches and the Evangelical Alliance. Both of these organisations are strictly against homosexuality and single-sex marriage. They are fiercely Christian organisations. It is the position of both organisations that all pastors and elders within their churches are all male, as they say that is what their scriptures teach.
Suddenly their “community” is getting smaller, don’t apply if you are homosexual, don’t apply if you follow any religion other than evangelical Christianity, and don’t apply if you are a woman, if you have any aspirations of leadership.
Can anyone really say this is a “community” bid in the spirit that I’m sure the council meant?

I would ask anyone that wants the town hall to remain the property of the people of Beeston to contact their local councillors, (details on the BCC website), and tell them what you think and do it now. The full council meeting is on the 17th of October and I would also urge anyone with an interest to attend that meeting to show their support for the property of the people of Beeston, to remain our property.

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2 thoughts on “THE TOWN HALL SELL-OFF SCANDAL: JIM DONAGHIE COMMENTS

  1. Mervyn Brown says:

    The innovation and endeavour of the Civic Society and its partners should be an inspiration to all within our community.
    The creation of a social and cultural community hub serving the whole of our Borough is vital
    What the Community Project trustees have embarked upon here deserves our support – in whatever way we are able to provide it.

    What is envisioned for our community has long-term implications – set, as it is against the often short-termism of our local politicians – it will provide for the many rather than the few.
    It puts the venture in the vanguard of social enterprise – as a model for others who wish to engage in similar social undertakings it is exemplary. It extends the on-going success and ethos of other similar local projects like Middle Street Resource Centre and The Canalside Heritage Centre

    The project will serve Broxtowe folk of today and has the power to be a legacy for our future generations. It will become a vibrant and dynamic hub for our whole community.

    The insight, enthusiasm and tenacity of the formative trustees is nothing short of inspirational. I hope you’ll share their vision – Your support for their endeavour is vital to the success of the project – to make it our own – drop a supportive email to your local councillors [details at http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk ]

    I congratulate those involved on what they have already achieved – and hope that you’ll join me in applauding their work to date and support the project aspirations.

  2. […] further investigating the Evangelical Alliance following last week’s comments from Jim Donaghie the Beestonian came across further evidence of their connections to the […]

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