Good public response to Burgess Hill arts venue consultation

Almost 3,000 public responses to a consultation on a new community and arts venue for Burgess Hill were returned.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 5:17 pm
An artist's impression of The Beehive in Burgess Hill. Picture: Burgess Hill Town Council SUS-201124-140915001

The Beehive project, proposed on the site of the old Royal British Legion building in Cyprus Road, is being led by Burgess Hill Town Council.

The centre would include a new live performance venue, with a space that can accommodate up to 320 (depending on stage configuration), a dance/rehearsal studio, a large meeting room, a café/bar, foyer spaces and multi-functional backstage accommodation.

Following the publication of detailed information about the Beehive Centre and how it is planned to fund the build, residents were given an opportunity to show their support for the project through a consultation survey.

This closed yesterday (Wednesday April 21), with a total of 2,984 surveys returned.

These are now being verified to ensure the integrity of the vote and prevent error, abuse and manipulation on a material scale that could lead to a misleading result.

The verification exercise will be conducted, firstly, by council officers who act impartially. They will use information submitted by residents through the two separate voting forums, paper and online, to ensure only those eligible to vote have done so. This will include employing a range of techniques to verify only Burgess Hill residents have voted, prevent multiple voting and ensure the vote put in an individuals’ resident’s name is genuine.

When the officers have completed this exercise the results and the data will be submitted for external and independent verification.

This will be conducted by the parish clerk of Fulking Parish Council who will verify the processes undertaken by the town council and confirm the validity of the result. This work will be completed on Thursday April 29.

When the two stages of verification have been completed, the results of the paper and online vote will be presented to the residents of the town.

It will detail the total returns cast, the total Yes and No votes, and details of the number of votes that failed the eligibility test and/or are spoiled, broken down into Yes and No.

As the county council elections are being held on Thursday May 6 the leader of Burgess Hill Town Council will announce the result of The Beehive poll on Friday May 7 at 1.00pm.

A Yes vote will mean the town council can move to the next stage and apply for a loan from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. However there is no guarantee this loan will be approved.