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URGENT: Save Thatcham Priory. Tories try to flog off community asset for a second time.

August 1, 2016 10:57 PM

Please sign the petition to Save the Priory.

Please attend the special meeting at 6:30pm, this Wednesday, 17th August. Let Thatcham Councillors know what you think.

Conservatives on Thatcham Town Council are putting Thatcham Priory on the market for a second time.

They first tried last year and were jubilant about finding a buyer for this historic building that local organisations and Liberal Democrat councillors badly wanted to keep as a community facility. Now the buyer has pulled out of the deal and this week the Tory councillors have decided to put it back on the open market.

The need for Thatcham to have a central community building was a key element in the Thatcham Vision, drawn up by community leaders and Liberal Democrat councillors put together a business plan that would make the Priory a viable proposition. The Conservatives, despite having been part of the Thatcham Vision group, have ignored all calls from local people to think again and gone ahead with
selling off this irreplaceable Thatcham asset.

Cllr Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, Thatcham North) said, "In the current financial situation, it is completely irresponsible to not even look again at the community benefit this building can bring"
Liberal Democrats believe that with Conservative-controlled West Berkshire Council pushing town councils to take on more and more services, The Priory is more important than ever. The Lib Dem business plan includes providing space for various community services, including a base for the police, as well as guaranteeing an income stream to help pay for them.

Cllr Mike Cole (Lib Dem Thatcham North) added "Instead of investing in the future, the Conservatives, having been given a second chance, are making the same short- sighted decisions. The resources which could be provided from The Priory site could provide facilities for the town for years to come but instead if sold will be at a considerable loss."

At the Town Council meeting on Wednesday 17 August at 6.30pm, the Conservatives will formally agree to put this community asset back on the open market. Public pressure could shame them into looking again at keeping it for the benefit of local people.

The meeting will be held at the Thatcham Town Council offices in Brownsfield Rd, Thatcham RG18 3HF.

Please sign the petition to Save the Priory.

Please email your Councillor: http://www.thatchamtowncouncil.gov.uk/public/page.php?section=council&table=people&category=towncouncillors

Please attend the special meeting at 6:30pm, this Wednesday, 17th August, and let the Councillors know what you think.

Contacts for more information:
Councillor Lee Dillon, 07393 288 712 ldillon@westberks.gov.uk
Councillor Mike Cole 0754 916 4506 mike.cole@kats.org.uk