Anger at Broxtowe town hall sale bill

The  sale of Beeston Town Hall and a move into new offices could cost Broxtowe Borough Council money, according to papers released by the council itself.

The council has said it will spend up to £533,500 to move out, but it sold the building for £425,000 – a potential loss of £108,500

However, the council also says it could save £85,000 a year, through not having to pay maintenance and repair costs.

In October, the Conservative-run council voted to sell the Town Hall to the evangelical Cornerstone Church.

After initially considering demolishing the building, there was widespread anger at the sale, and a petition to save the Town Hall received more than 2,500 signatures.

Now, in papers released by the authority, it has been revealed all of the £425,000 will be set aside to set up a new council chamber elsewhere, and move the computer servers currently based in the building.

Already, another £100,000 has been committed, and partly spent, to refurbish the building prior to sale, the council says.

The council also estimates the legal fees incurred during the sale to be £8,500, bringing the total bill to £533,500.

However, the council also says work to relocate the servers and set up a new council chamber will be subject to a tendering process, which it anticipates will “reduce the cost of the figures quoted”.

However, a spokesman for Beeston and District Civic Society said: “They are paying money to get rid of a community asset. It makes absolutely no sense.

“It’s like giving away a house, and then giving someone £100,000 extra for taking it off your hands. It’s bizarre.

“Why are they actually using money to get rid of an asset for the town? It’s totally divorced from reality.

“We’ve said from the start there would be very high costs involved, and we’ve still never had a proper answer on where they would build the new council chamber.

“We need to find out how this has been allowed to happen.

“We need a full enquiry and the sale needs to be pulled while we wait for the findings of that enquiry.”

A council spokesman said: “Following the sale of the hall, the council will save about £85,000 every year on its running costs.

“The council’s finance and resources committee will discuss the 2018-19 capital programme update report, where they will decide whether to approve proposed changes to the programme.”