A COUNCIL chamber could be created in Glossop as the Borough Council look at ways to revitalise under-used buildings in the town – despite calls for meetings to be held in the centre of the area.
High Peak Borough Council is looking at options for the restoration of Glossop Market Hall and Town Hall, and to develop plans to use part of Victoria Hall as a meeting chamber and bring the rest of the building back into economic use.
They also want to find the best way of providing a library, offices and one-stop shop for the borough council and Derbyshire County Council.
Detailed proposals and their cost are due to be completed by March with public consultation to begin the following month.
Council leader Caitlin Bisknell said: “We’re looking at Glossop’s four public halls in the round, with a view to identifying solutions that achieve best value for the taxpayer in supporting the local economy and providing facilities for community use plus accommodation for the delivery of excellent services.
“Our approach also aims to ensure that we meet our responsibilities as owner of these fine listed buildings.
“We’re determined to develop detailed proposals that will breathe new life into these buildings.
“And to ease the burden on the taxpayer, we’ll be pulling out all the stops to write a compelling bid to secure Heritage Lottery funding,” she pledged.
However the plans have led to renewed calls for the Chinley offices, former home to the council chamber, to be re-opened.
Councillor David Mellor who vote against the decision to close the site said: “We haven’t sold Chinley so it is time they looked at it again.”
He said a sub committee set up to look at alternative venues for meetings concluded they should be held in the central area.
“Why when Chinley is still to be sold have meetings not been held there?”
The Glossop plans, announced on Thursday afternoon, came as a surprise to Chapel resident Edmund Bradbury who has been calling for the Chinley site to be re-opened and had met with Cllr Bisknell and Cllr Tim Norton earlier in the week.
Mr Bradbury said to create a council chamber at Victoria Hall would require considerable expense as there was currently no disabled access. He said other expenditure would be incurred moving staff to the building.
“There is already an adequate council chamber at the Chinley offices together with parking.” Mr Bradbury said there was also full disabled access and it was in a central location for the whole of the borough.