Rethink of plans to refurbish Walter Gidney Pavilion, in Soham, is not because of escalating costs

Reference your front page article (Soham Edition, May 28) headlined ‘Rising costs force rethink on pavilion’.

First – the rethink in the plans for the Walter Gidney Pavilion is not because of escalating costs.

It has been forced on the council because money the council had expected to receive from the development of the Eastern Gateway has not yet been forthcoming.

Second – Councillor Geoffrey Woollard put forward a motion at the May meeting of the town council “that no further expenditure on professional or other advice be allowed or approved unless and until the whole of the town council has considered the said proposed re-vamping”.

This motion was passed because, as the chairman explained, this is the process which has been followed throughout.

In fact, this had previously been agreed at the town council meeting in March when no commitment to the revised scheme would be made until further proposals have been received.

The working party (of which I have been a member from the outset) meets regularly with the architect and quantity surveyor to discuss the progress of the project. Following each meeting the working party puts forward a recommendation to the town council.

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Prior to the council meeting (once the agenda has been issued) any town councillor can obtain information about the discussions with the working party from the council clerk.

At the Town Council meeting, when the recommendation from the working party is put to the council, any questions from councillors can be answered before a vote is taken.

On no occasion since the start of the project has there been any objections or votes against the steps proposed by the working party.

I, therefore, feel that Cllr Woollard’s motion and some of his other comments amount to criticism of the way in which the town council has been democratically conducting its business prior to his joining it.


Vice-chairman, Soham Town Council

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