Posted earlier on the Beeston Updated Facebook Page
.Please share widely.
Today is D-Day folks. The day the Town Hall may be, by consent of elected members of Broxtowe Borough Council, be moved from the public – who built it 82 years ago for us to proudly use in perpertuity, into private hands.
A few things to remember.
1. This was not in any councillor’s manifesto. Not a single one. There are elections in May: if they are confident this is what the people want, let them present the case then and let us decide.
2. The bid process, as has been repeatedly shown, has been flawed the whole way. The bidding system was unequal, opaque (until we leaked it) and bizarre gagging orders were attempted to be imposed on the community bid as a condition of bidding.
3. The church bid was pushed as the best option by an officer who himself was connected to the Evangelical Alliance, the umbrella group of churches that also cover the winning bid.
4. The final oversight of the bid process lies with the the Chief Executive. We have shown her connections to the Evangelical Alliance suggest conflicts of interest. These should have been declared.
5. The Chief Executive’s husband was also shown to be a senior member of a church which was also part of the Evangelical Alliance. Again, this is an undeclared conflict of interest
6. People have claimed that the Evangelical Alliance is somehow a broad church encompassing many different varients of faith. However, the EA threw the Oasis Church group out of its organisation when it showed a more liberal approach to homosexuality. This suggests a rigid system of beliefs that is not compatible with providing truly inclusive community services.
7. The church has stated it would use community usage as a recruitment tool. This again is not compatible with a truly community asset
8. Churches, mosques, temples etc are absolutely fine buying property for their own use on the open market. Their members are free to worship as they choose. That is the beauty of a free, open, secular society. However , this is not the open market, and the decision to give the church the Town Hall can be interpreted as an effective subsidy – our council tax being used to further the church’s aims. The other part of the deal that respects the freedom of religion – that is freedom FROM religion – is not being kept here.
9. As has been detailed by Jim Donaghie, who has vast expertise in the field, as the building houses servers for two Borough councils, secure relocation costs will amount to a huge figure that will leave the money accrued from the sale vastly depleted.
10. There has still been no coherent position on where a new council chamber with public access will be located.
11. There are several legal procedures not fully undertook as part of the process. I am afraid I have been advised to not yet make public what these are, but I have pushed them on to a Beeston councillor.
12. The whole narrative of the town hall has a huge elephant in the room- that is WHY are the council selling a public asset we built for ourselves 82 years ago? The answer is that they have squandered hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal fees and temporary staff to hide a long-standing scandal entirely of their own making. They have not challenged central government on why Broxtowe receives one of the worst local government settlements in England: to make sure they do not rock the boat and potentially jeopardise their career. Their own personal ambitions have supplanted public service
Tonight we can show them that this will not stand. Until every one of the 12 points above are effectively answered, the sale must not proceed. Their is no mandate.
It is important you show the councillors who they actually work for. They are our servants. It is our Town Hall. We are a strong, diverse inclusive community and we can stop this and restore some faith in local democracy.
Town Hall at 6.45 – entry is (for now) free.
We can do this.