The District Council’s “Task and Finish” group have now published their recommendation to sell Stroud’s Subscription Rooms and forecourt.
The two Green Party representatives on this group, Martin Baxendale and Jonathan Edmunds, strongly disagree with the conclusion of the group as a whole, so have published their own recommendation to make our position clear. It reads as follows:
“We strongly disagree with the recommendation of the Subscription Rooms Task & Finish Group as set out in the group’s final report, which does not adequately reflect the alternative opinions expressed by the two of us in meetings of the group.
Instead, we recommend that:
- Any final decision on the future of the Subscription Rooms should be taken not by a committee but by a meeting of full council.
- The results of the task and finish group’s review of the Subscription Rooms, including the bids submitted, should not be considered by Strategy and Resources Committee alone but also by Community Services Committee, with both committees then reporting their conclusions and/or recommendations to the meeting of full council.
- Disposal of the freehold of the Subscription Rooms and its forecourt should be ruled out as an option, with the council retaining ownership and any future arrangements for running the venue other than by the council itself to be strictly on a leasehold basis, not on the basis of sale to a third party, to ensure continued future use as a community/cultural asset.
- Council should commence renegotiation with bidders as soon as possible to find the best way forward for the long term future of the Subscription Rooms under the basis recommended in 3) above.
In addition, we object to the way the Task and Finish Group majority recommendation was reached, with members being, we believe, unduly pressured to reach a quick decision regardless of any reservations they might have; with no formal decision matrix employed and no votes taken on the issues and bids being presented to the group in its final meeting.”
Pictured above: Green Councillor Martin Whiteside with Green SW MEP Molly Scott Cato posting our principles for the future of the building on the Sub Rooms door.
Martin Baxendale was also interviewed about the issue on Radio Gloucestershire on Wednesday, you can listen again here (his interview starts at 1:37:56)