10:35AM, Monday 24 January 2022
Full council is set to meet in the town hall on Tuesday to discuss that very building’s future after a petition reached the required 1,500 signatures to be debated by councillors.
The petition, set up by resident Melanie Hill, was created to ‘save our town hall’ in response to a report which detailed a potential relocation of council operations away from the civic building as part of a review of its future use.
Council leader Andrew Johnson has insisted the borough is seeking to reduce emissions from public sector buildings and has ‘no plans for either demolition or a fire sale’ of the building.
Officers will present a report which recommends the council continues ‘to investigate the situation and report back to members when appropriate for decision’.
Furthermore, councillors will vote on whether to appoint the council’s monitoring officer Emma Duncan as the returning officer and electoral registration officer for next year’s local elections.
Ms Duncan will not be the only appointment at the meeting, with elected representatives deciding the appointment of Cllr Leo Walters as vice chair of the Maidenhead Development Management Committee following Cllr Ross McWilliams’ resignation.
Cllr McWilliams himself will be presenting a motion following the closure of Phoenix Gymnastics; the gym was critical of the council following its closure, with chair of trustees Alisdair Thornton branding the offer of support as ‘way too little, way too late’.
The lead member for sport and leisure will propose the council works ‘with existing gymnastic providers to understand the facilities that are required to meet demand, including how existing facilities can be best used’.
Furthermore, the motion seeks to ‘support he delivery of a new, purpose-built gymnastics facility in partnership with a third party’ within the Royal Borough.
Cllr Amy Tisi will present a motion urging the leader of the council to write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and local MPS to call for the Government 'to restore Environment Agency budgets to deliver the necessary oversight’.
The motion comes after an amendment to the Environment Bill, compelling water companies to reduce the impact of storm sewage overflows into rivers.
Cllr Tisi’s motion references unregulated pollution from a range of sources being a ‘major threat to wildlife’ and urges the council leader to write to the Secretary of State, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee and the regional director of the National Farmers’ Union with the council’s concerns.
The meeting will be held in the Desborough Suite at the town hall and will be streamed live on YouTube from 7pm.
A cross-party coalition of 28 councillors from three different factions has been formed at Wokingham Borough Council.