Fellowship Hall to be sold at auction without conditions on development
At today’s (Monday September 22) Sutton Coldfield District Committee meeting a motion to sell Fellowship Hall by auction and without conditions attached was passed by a majority of those present.
All of the Conservative councillors voted in favour with Councillor Rob Pocock voting against.
This was despite the comment by Councillor Anne Underwood at the previous District meeting… “that every effort would continue to be made to find someone willing to ensure the Hall would remain for community use.”
A point that Councillor Pocock made before being quickly shot down by the committee chair, Councillor Anne Underwood.
Of course any such restriction would no doubt strongly affect the value of the property and it is clear that the district are keen to sell to the highest bidder, regardless of the developer’s intention.
It is also true that the level of savings to be made by Sutton Coldfield is both unrealistic and unfair as it bares the brunt of the council cuts but there are times when councillors need to stand up for those they represent and not take every opportunity to score party political points.
Fellowship Hall was donated to the people of Sutton Coldfield, particularly those who are elderly or disabled, by town benefactor C.S. Wilkinson in 1960 and a petition was raised by his grandson on the announcement of it’s closure arguing that the council should… “keep the hall open for the charitable and community purposes for which it was freely donated”
It is no secret that Fellowship Hall has been running at a loss, although whether or not this is down to poor management is unclear, and that to sell it makes economic sense at this difficult time but to do so with no regard for the provision of some kind of community facility is, at best, a little cynical.
The auction of Fellowship Hall will take place on October 23.