Council looks at historic buildings sale
By Liz HearnshawA COUNCIL plan to sell off historical buildings to lessen the burden on taxpayers has moved a step closer.But officials insisted the future of the listed properties in Bury St Edmunds - which include the Corn Exchange and Market Cross - was secure, whoever their new owners will be.
By Liz Hearnshaw
A COUNCIL plan to sell off historical buildings to lessen the burden on taxpayers has moved a step closer.
But officials insisted the future of the listed properties in Bury St Edmunds - which include the Corn Exchange and Market Cross - was secure, whoever their new owners will be.
The cabinet of St Edmundsbury Borough Council discussed the matter at a behind-closed-doors meeting on Wednesday and will receive a further report on the possible sale of the buildings.
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That is being considered to help pay for a multi-million-pound retail and entertainment development on the town's Cattle Market site. The buildings being considered for sale are all classed as surplus to council requirements.
Sara Mildmay-White, cabinet member for resources, said: “It is part of the council's ongoing programme to follow through asset management plans on all the properties it owns.
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“Councils originally brought buildings to protect them, but now the listing system is in place, that is not needed.
“Why should the Council Tax payer pay enormous upkeep for buildings which might be put to a better use by other people? But all the buildings will be safe as nobody will take a bulldozer to them.”
At the same meeting, councillors also agreed to set aside £20,000 saved from other projects for the establishment of a leisure centres trust.
The non-profit-making body is set to take control of the leisure centres in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill next October.
Bosses said the move would benefit customers by encouraging spending and investment currently unavailable to the council.