Cabinet defy protestors to push on with museum plan for Hitchin
Despite opposition from councillors, action groups, the public and their own scrutiny committee, the members of North Herts District Council s cabinet pressed ahead with their plan to turn Hitchin Town Hall into a district museum last night (Tuesday). At
Despite opposition from councillors, action groups, the public and their own scrutiny committee, the members of North Herts District Council's cabinet pressed ahead with their plan to turn Hitchin Town Hall into a district museum last night (Tuesday).
At a packed meeting at the council's Letchworth GC offices which went late into the night, the portfolio holders, after listening to speeches by those opposed to the �3.5m plan, moved to put the scheme before full council in December.
It is now down to individual councillors, in a free vote, to decide on the future of the hall.
Portfolio holder for community engagement, Tricia Cowley, who proposed the motion, said the project was a "win, win situation" - restoring the hall, which is need of a �1m renovation, and meeting the council's commitment to creating one museum to hold the district collection currently held at Hitchin and Letchworth museums.
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Leader of the council, F John Smith, said he was confident that "almost 100 per cent" of current users of the hall could be accommodated in the new building, by converting the current gymnasium and Lucas Room.
If the plan goes ahead, the main hall of the building would form the heart of a new museum, spilt into two levels by a mezzanine floor.
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