Monday, December 21, 2009

Quotes about Eatons Community Centre

To coincide with the ECC Open Day, I thought it would be a bit of fun to see what our local politicians and others have said about the ECC.

Start date for work on community centre - Huntspost - 11/07/2007
It is hoped the new facilities will be open to the public in September 2008.

Paul Phelps, architect for FrankShaw Associates, said he was confident he could meet the key dates set and that “things were moving forward”.

Former town mayor, councillor Paul Ursell said he was disappointed that a kitchen/bar are not a separate bar was incorporated in to the designs. “It is one thing building it, but a project like this has to be sustainable and that is why it needs a dedicated bar.”

snrednek says: Bars used to be the money earner for a centre like this. But there is no real need for a dedicated bar. Times have changed. If I can get passed the secrecy which surrounds this council then we will have to see whether this bar will make any money in the future.

Go-ahead for £1m community centre - Huntspost - 30/04/2008
Councillor Paul Ursell, vice chairman of the development control panel, said St Neots Town Council can now progress this important project. “This much needed community centre will be a tremendous asset for the residents of the Eaton Ford and Eaton Socon communities who will undoubtedly make full use of its facilities.”

snrednek says: If the Conservatives become suddenly in opposition to the ECC remember the above quote. Cllr Ursell along with Cllr Harty are on the ECC Committee. The other two are the usual suspects: Cllrs Giles and Thorpe.

The going gets turf ... - Huntspost - 20/08/2008
A turf-cutting ceremony was held at the Maltings in Eaton Socon on Friday to mark the start of work on the Eatons Community Centre.
Philip Devonald, clerk to St Neots Town Council, said: “The idea for a community centre for the Eatons was first aired four years ago. “We have had a lot of interest from local organisations and community groups keen to use the centre and we have no doubt that we will be able to fill it. It is much-needed and it will be a well used multi purpose community centre.”
Building work is due to start on September 1 and is estimated to take about 35 weeks.

snrednek says: From this article I get the very strong impression that building work was to start on 01/09/2008. 35 weeks in the middle of May 2009. Also there is lots of interest from local groups to use this centre.
But just one month later......

£100k budget blow-out for community centre - Weekly News (now News and Crier) - 18/09/2008
Cllr Gordon Thorpe said: “The original money allocated is now insufficient due to increased costs such as the cost of steel and the cost of copper for electrical goods going up all the time.”
Cllr Thorpe said: "the district council also required CCTV and a holding tank for rainwater be installed, which added to the cost of the project."
Philip Devonald, town clerk, said: “It is a combination of increased construction costs and increases in the requirements imposed by the district council. “Also, members decided to go from a gas boiler to a biofuel boiler, which is more expensive but also more environmentally friendly.”

snrednek says: I can find no requirement for CCTV. I can find a planning condition which means any CCTV erected would have to be approved by HDC Planning.

I also cannot find anything about a requirement for a holding tank for rainwater. Maybe I missed this but I don’t think so!

So Councillor Thorpe is blaming HDC Planning for imposing conditions which HDC didn’t.

The killers of this centre are the restrictions placed on it because of the housing abutting the centre. The open hours are restricted and noise is limited. Building this centre next to housing is the basic problem behind the restrictions. Right from the start the Town Council seems to have been blinkered about the what they could do with this centre with housing right next to it.

Council loan may rise to fund new centre - Huntspost - 08/10/2008
Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Bob Eaton, said that despite the funding shortfall, the centre was still on track to open early next year. He said: “The costs have increased because we want to use green fuel in the centre and because of the rising costs of building materials because of the state the economy is in at the moment. Despite this, the project is still on schedule.

snrednek says: So the previous Town Mayor Bob Eaton declared the centre was still on track and on schedule. Work was supposed to start on 1 September 2008. He dug the turf at the ceremony. It didn’t start. Despite what this Town Mayor was quoted as saying at the time the project was not going anywhere. It didn’t until January 2009.

Book the hall that has yet to be built - St Neots News and Crier - 19/02/2009
The Council is looking for St Neots based businesses willing to sponsor some of the equipment required for the facility.
Work by Deejak building contractors has commenced and St Neots Town Council is inviting anyone interested in hiring the centre's facilities to get in touch with them.

snrednek says: So this centre, in which lots of local groups were interested in using, is now looking for anyone interested in hiring this hall

Bar open at new centre - Huntspost - 16/09/2009
Cllr Gordon Thorpe, town mayor, said: “The licence is good news otherwise it would have limited what we could use the centre for. We do not intend to use the alcohol license every day and night but just for functions such as weddings receptions.”

snrednek says: Wedding receptions at this hall? Parking problems and the noise will cause neighbour disputes. Rather than have the River Church on the committee, local residents should be strongly represented.

No comments: