Essex County Council rejects call for public access to Chelmsford Shire Hall

February 20, 2018 11:30 PM

Shire Hall, Tindal Square, Chelmsford (Chelmsford Liberal Democrats)

Essex County Council (ECC) today rejected a call by the Liberal Democrats to require a set number of days per year in which the public could have access to Shire Hall.

The plan had been that voluntary and community groups would be able to use the building's ballroom for a reasonable fee for up to 6 days per year, but even this minimal requirement was rejected by the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, in a secret session after they excluded the press and public.

In addition to the 6 days per year, it was anticipated that voluntary organisations would be able to make use of other parts of the building.

A compelling case was made by Malcolm Noble (Chairman of Chelmsford Civic Society), on behalf of a wide range of voluntary groups in the city who had worked on a proposal supported by a number of Chelmsford Councillors.

The Cabinet Member for Property is now free to dispose of the building on a long lease, as she sees fit.

Essex County Councillors Mike Mackrory and Stephen Robinson spoke strongly in favour of community groups being able to use the building and both were interviewed afterwards:

Stephen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTx7qKOX7P8

Mike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AWflJ6jmwc