Cromwell hall decision divides votes
The people spoke and the board listened - despite an unexpected new-build option being tabled, dividing votes.
Cromwell Community Board chairman Neil Gillespie was forced to use his casting vote to progress the $5.34 million redevelopment of the memorial hall after board member Robin Dicey introduced an ‘‘Option 3’’ into the mix, involving a complete rebuild.
Gillespie, Nigel McKinlay and Anna Harrison voted in favour of progressing with the upgrade of the hall, while Robin Dicey, Annabel Blaikie and Shirley Calvert voted against the motion. Werner Murray abstained
In June, 2016, the previous board voted in favour of adopting detailed design plans. In December, the newly-elected board decided not to accept a tender because of concerns about the design, scope and cost of the project.
The move sparked a public petition, signed by nearly 900 people, showing support for the board to proceed with the upgrade of the hall.
On Friday, Dicey presented an alternative option to board members, involving a private construction company willing to produce concept plans of a rebuild for free at a similar cost and twice the size. He proposed a period of 12 weeks for the board to consider all relevant information.
‘‘There is nothing to lose and a huge amount to gain. To ask this board to take responsibility for what has gone before when we weren’t even there...simply because we are now scared of another option...We can do it, it has been done.’’
Hucklebridge said while delivering the petition a new board should not be able to override decisions made by a previous board just to ‘‘put their own
‘‘In the words of so many people who signed...it is time to get on with it’’
stamp on policy already decided’’.
‘‘You, the members of the board, were elected by the residents and ratepayers to look after their town - it is not your town...It is an important part of their past as well as their future and it is time for you to acknowledge that and move forward.’’
The hall had reached a stage it was barely fit for purpose and was receiving minimal bookings because of its condition.
‘‘The previous board could see this need and gave it the priority it badly required...In the words of so many people who signed...it is time to get on with it.’’
Helen Hucklebridge delivers a petition signed by nearly 900 people.
Design plans for a renovated Cromwell Memorial Hall.