Parish council drops plan to demolish Beacon building

Monday 9th July 2018 4:00 am
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BRAMSHOTT and Liphook parish councillors were forced to drop one of their main capital project proposals from the agenda at Monday’s meeting.

The recreation committee had proposed the demolition of the derelict Beacon building, three years after making the initial decision, when the parish council issued an eviction notice to the Willows Nursery, which had occupied it for 14 years.

The condemned building is currently only insured for demolition, but any further discussions by the full parish council were prevented by Susan Garnett, Eddie Trotter and Don Jerrard, who argued that because the building has charitable status, a meeting of the trustees would have to be called, before any decisions could be reached.

Notification of the trustee meeting would also have to be made public in advance and be open to members of the community to attend.

Three years ago councillors agreed to obtain quotations for the cost of demolishing it, initially set at £10,000 and which have now been raised to £30,000 for the entire structure, including the work store, as well as constructing a purpose-built store for groundsmen’s equipment.

Other capital projects, which were approved by councillors on Monday include alterations to the Liphook Millennium Centre office and bar at a cost of £25,000 and replacement lighting for the main hall at £10,000.

As part of a five-year plan, refurbishment of the centre’s toilets at £15,000 and alterations to the main foyer at £10,000 were also agreed.

Following a wet winter, which continuously flooded the football pitches at the Recreation Ground, in London Road, £10,000 has been made available for remedial drainage works, as well as £2,000 for the ground’s main grassed area.

The parish council has received a pat on the back from its internal auditor, Do the Numbers, which found records for the last year in good order.

The auditor suggested the council should look at moving some of its standing reserves to a higher interest account to reduce the risk of all funds being linked to the current account.

In addition the council was recommended to review its email and web hosting services, which are significantly higher than other councils and reduce the costs to under £200.

The auditor also noted not all members of the council were including their home address within the parish and pointed out if they get involved in planning, highways and other issues it could lead to accusations of conflict of interest.

In line with the recommended transparency code the council should upload the full agenda pack to the website – to support decisions made as well as clearly minuting the name and value of winners of all quotes and tenders.

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