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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Civic Hall to stay shut in spite of petition

WHITEHAVEN Civic Hall will not be reopened, Copeland Council has confirmed, despite a 1,380-signature petition calling for it.

The petition was formally received by the council’s Executive this week, but councillors confirmed that they stand by their original decision.

Coun Hugh Branney, Copeland’s portfolio holder for community regeneration, said: “We note the petition – and we’d be more than willing to discuss the running of the Civic Hall with any potential partners – but we have no choice but to stand by our previous decision.”

The petition organisers, the Whitehaven Civic Hall User Forum, said in a letter accompanying it: “The current users do not want the Civic Hall to close and would actively support any initiative to keep the venue open.

“All the user groups have had to undertake a lot of time this summer trying to find alternative venues where they can continue their activities.”

The Civic Hall closed at the end of October after Copeland withdrew funding to the facility’s managers North Country Leisure (NCL). It was part of a raft of borough-wide cuts after Copeland had its budget slashed by central government. It must save around £4million by 2016.

The decision was met with widespread anger and was the subject of a protest rally on the venue’s last night, with users including theatre groups, dance troupes and musicians slamming the loss of the “hub of the community”.

Have your say

Yet another demonstration of the undemocratic manipulation by the present system of governance. The 1,380 signatories should therefore ensure that they do sign the current Elected Mayor petition, if they have not already done so, by the 10th of January so as to ensure that they do get a system that is accountable directly to them at least every 4yrs and they do not have a Leader with a Leader selected Executive that totally ignores the electorate.

Posted by Arthur Millie on 21 December 2013 at 09:28

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