SCCA meeting Fairfield Halls
27/10/2014 10:09:00......Posted by Michael Neal
As the Cllr for Croham ward I attended the SCCA (South Croydon Community Association) meeting last night as I have done since the very first meeting.
When I arrived Fairfield Halls was the opening topic.
You may be aware that the Conservative Administration prior to May 2014 sold part of the Riesco Chinese Ceramics collection to raise money for the refurbishment of the Fairfeld Halls
In Administration Cllr Tim Pollard said the proceeds would play a considerable part in reducing the borrowing required for the £33 million refurbishment of the Fairfield Halls.
This was to reduce the burden of borrowing on council taxpayers by approximately £1 million per year
Cllr Pollard added: "We were in a position of having to borrow £33 million to refurbish Fairfield and anything we can do to bring that figure down has got to be positive"
Constituents that I meet agree that Fairfield Halls is important to Croydon and it is widely accepted that the acoustics in the Halls are the best in the world. It has a mixture of widely acclaimed artists from around the UK together with the London Mozart Players using it on a regular basis.
In the SCCA meeting last night I echoed concerns from the Conservatives and residents after the last full Council meeting when Cllr Godfrey was asked, "whether all the £33 miliion allocated would go directly to Fairfileld Halls and whether money would be spent on essential maintenence"
Cllr Godfrey's reply was vague as reported in the Croydon Advertiser and non-committal potentially leaving the Fairfield Halls with an uncertain future The Conservative opposition in the Council were baffled by the reply and openly expressed concern that a lick of paint would not be good enough. Not spending on essential maintenance would leave the Fairfield Halls vulnerable to health and safety issues.
Labour in Croydon has a history of cutting the £1m pa grant to Fairfield Halls year on year while they were in office.
The Conservatives have always supported the payment of this grant in full and during our term in office pledged the £33million for refurbishment which is essential to bring the Fairfield Halls up to a higher standard.
Cllr Godfrey has stated this morning on twitter that all £33 million will be spent on the Fairfeld Halls, why on Twitter but not in a Council meeting? My question still remains: will essential maintenance works be carried out to ensure Fairfield Halls remains one of the most essential and most loved areas of Art and Culture in Croydon?