How Did Your Councillors Vote On the Redevelopment Of The Mill Hall and Other Public Assets?

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At a meeting on the 19th May 2020, District Councillors were asked to vote on the asset strategy, which includes the redevelopment of

  • Rayleigh Mill Hall
  • Rayleigh Civic Suite
  • South Street Council Offices
  • The Freight House

Councillors took a vote on the following (The full report can be read here)

  1. That the outcome of the procurement process as set out in the TenderReport be approved (exempt Appendix 1 to the report to the InvestmentBoard)
  2. That the Preferred Bidder as set out in the Tender Report (exemptAppendix 1 to the report to the Investment Board) be appointed for theAsset Delivery Programme.
  3. That the Final Business Case (exempt Appendix 2 to the report to theInvestment Board) be approved.
  4. That authority be delegated to the Assistant Director Assets &Commercial in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Enterprise toenter into negotiations with the Preferred Bidder identified to confirmfinancial commitments and other terms contained in the Tender Reportand the Full Business Case and to report back to Full Council for finalapproval.
  5. That £72,500 of unspent project budget is carried forward to 2020/21and to agree additional budget of £214,900 to be funded from theHard/Soft Infrastructure Reserve to fund the resources required toprogress the Programme during 2020/21.

The meeting was placed into a Private and Confidential session so that members of the public were unable to see or hear the proposals and the questions/concerns raised about the project.

Councillors voted in favour of the proposal 24-8 with 2 members abstaining. If you disagree with the decision then you can always ask the Councillors who voted (a) FOR the project to proceed, why? and (b) why the Councillors who abstained, couldn't make up their minds.

What the Lib Dems say...

We think in view of the current global pandemic and the resulting global economic crisis that the risks involved in this project should have been urgently reevaluated before any decision was considered. We haven't seen any evidence that the risks have an up to date analysis and consider this a reckless action for the Council to undertake with Council tax payers money.

We do not want to lose important community assets for the sake of a vanity project and as such have voted against it.

Vote /

Councillor

Email Address

For

Against

Abstain

Cllr Chris Stanley

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Cllr Christine Mason

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Cllr David Merrick

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Cllr James Newport

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Cllr Michael Hoy

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Cllr Mike Wilkinson

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Cllr Neil Hookway

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Cllr Stuart Wilson

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Cllr Toni Carter

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Cllr Adrian Eves

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Cllr Arthur Williams

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Cllr Bob Milne

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Cllr Brian Hazlewood (Con)

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Cllr Carol Pavlin

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Cllr Carol Weston

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Cllr Cheryl Roe

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Cllr Daniel Efdes

(Con)

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Cllr Danielle Belton (Con)

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Cllr Dave Sperring

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Cllr George Ioannou

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Cllr Ian Ward

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Cllr Jamie Burton

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Cllr Jo McPherson

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Cllr Julie Gooding

(Con)

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Cllr Keith Hudson

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Cllr Laureen Shaw

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Cllr Lesley Butcher (Con)

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Cllr Mike Carter

(Con)

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Cllr Mike Lucas-Gill

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Cllr Mike Steptoe

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Cllr Mike Webb

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Cllr Phil Shaw

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Cllr Robin Dray

(Con)

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Cllr Simon Smith

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Cllr Simon Wootton

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Recorded Vote Taken

  • As the country and the councils are in the middle of a national crisis that is going to cost an unknown amount, surely this project which is not an urgent matter could be pushed back , an further discussions held next year when the outcome of the virus and its financial effects are known.Oh I forgot that won’t do as there will be May elections and the people who voted for it might lose their seats!

    • That’s our feeling as well. As big corporates comment more people will work from home. Will there be an INCREASE in leisure demand such as the Mill Hall and a decrease in demand for office space (Council Offices)? We don’t know as we haven’t got a crystal ball, but pausing for thought would be the sensible thing to do right now, wouldn’t it?

    • 7, but remember it’s not JUST about the Mill Hall. This is about Mill Hall, New Council offices and chamber, Freight House redevelopment and South Street Council Offices – all to the tune of £3,400,000

  • This makes me feel sick listening to people stripping our community of social assets. Cold hearted progress in their minds maybe. They are letting the people of Rayleigh and future generations down.

  • There is a momentum from the Tories to get this started which I don’t understand, one point I find baffling is the redevelopment of the old council offices in south st into residential property, why not use this as a flagship re-generation project into offices and shops/retail units maybe an antique centre to show that the council is committed to Rochford as a Town Centre. Some mixing of budgets and maybe not sgueezing the mlast penny is needed here !!!!!

  • I don’t what this development, what can be done to stop it? It is removing the heart of a community. I’ve asked the National Trust what is their view of the development as surely it will have some impact on Rayleigh Mount. However if nothing can be done to prevent it then at least there should be an agreement all the community aspects are built before any commercial or residential units. Protecting us against the usual clauses that allows these developers and the council to back out of all the infrastructure aspects of any development.

  • The argument for demolishing the Mill Hall seems to be that it is “past it’s sell by date”. If the site is redeveloped as housing, where are all the Groups, Clubs, Community events etc, supposed to go? Will it reduce the parking area in the long term? Rayleigh is a thriving, vibrant, popular town! Why fix what ain’t broken? It is shortsighted madness.

  • What is the rationale behind this idea? How much revenue will be lost from car park fees and hiring fees? What provision will be made for community groups while work is being done? Will facilities be better in the long run? Where will Citizens Advice and RRAVS go? I am sure people want details about the changes.