LETTER: We have to get to the right decision on the Martlets Hall

Your letters
Your letters

I refer to the letter from Steven Cridland the CEO of Burgess Hill Town Council (Martlets Hall - The Council is taking the issue seriously, Mid Sussex Times 15/10/15).

I write as one who has followed the debate closely in recent months. I speak for many of those who signed the petition in favour of a-like-for-like replacement of the Martlets Hall before demolition when I say that we see little evidence that the Town Hall is taking our concerns seriously. Councillor Moore (BHTC and MSDC and cabinet member for leisure) has shared her ‘twopenneth’ of wisdom on the Martlets Hall. I paraphrase her comments: It is a waste of money; It is not supported by the public; It is not what the town needs.

It is certainly not something she wants despite the fact that it is a core objective of the town’s neighbourhood plan which she had a hand in drafting. So who are we meant to believe – the CEO of BHTC or the cabinet member for Leisure on MSDC?

Burgess Hill will, over the next decades, grow by leaps and bounds in terms of population and jobs. It beggars belief that the cabinet member for leisure does not want to promote the provision of the live arts in the town. This can only be realised through the construction of a public facility. It really is time the cabinet member put her thinking cap on and do her job. She should publicly support a facility in Burgess Hill which will offer more than the Martlets Hall currently does. The Arts Centre then has to be effectively marketed to ensure that it is used to capacity and can present the widest range of artistic and cultural offerings.

We have to get to the right decision on the Martlets Hall and the future of the live arts in the town. We are at a crossroads in the town’s development. Do we want to be a ‘dormitory town’ or a ‘destination town’? I for one choose the latter - Burgess Hill as a town which offers a vibrant and attractive environment for culture and the live arts. A town to which people from across the region will choose to come to and enjoy.

Richard Tudway

Sycamore Drive, Burgess Hill

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