Council agrees to ‘re-think’ pavilion revamp project

Views of the remodelled Walter Gidney Pavilion

Views of the remodelled Walter Gidney Pavilion - Credit: Archant

Soham Town Council is to re-think its plans to refurbish the Walter Gidney Pavilion amid concern at the “escalating costs” of the project.

Geoffrey Woollard

Geoffrey Woollard - Credit: Archant

Councillor Geoffrey Woollard put forward a motion at a meeting of the town council held last week calling for “no further expenditure on professional or other advice regarding the proposed re-vamping of the pavilion” until all councillors had considered the future of project.

Cllr Woollard said he was “increasingly concerned at the escalating estimates” of the costs of refurbishing the building and said it was crucial that all councillors had a say about the way forward.

The motion was supported by the chairman of the council, Councillor Geoff Fisher, and was passed by majority.

The move came just a few months after the council conceded that it did not have sufficient funds to cover the estimated £1.6million cost of revamping the building.

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At its March meeting, the council voted in favour of motion instructing the architects of the project to produce new drawings to fit within its budget, meaning that parts of the originally planned revamp would have to be delayed.

Cllr Woollard said he was concerned that not all of the councillors were aware of what they had voted for at the meeting and said it was time to take stock.

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He said: “My motion is intended to do two things: To enable new members of the council to play a full part in the discussions and decision-making regarding the pavilion’s proposed re-vamping.

“And to stop any further expenditure on professional or other advice unless and until the whole of the town council has considered further the proposed re-vamping.”

The town council will now wait for the project architects to return with revised drawings before it considers the future of the project.

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