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Town Council Expect Burgess Hill Public To Pay £9.5 Million To Replace The Community Hall They Gave Away

1st February 2018
By Peter Chapman

£190k per year for 50 years at a total of £9.5 million. That will be the cost to Burgess Hill residents to replace the Martlets Hall after councillors waved away the existing venue to a private developer.

This astronomical fee could be just the tip of the iceberg as any deficit from running the proposed new venue will also have to be paid for.

It's our understanding that the Martlets Hall was being subsidised to the tune of £110k per year by Mid Sussex District Council. If those sort of costs carry over to a new building, then we could be looking at £300k p.a to build and maintain the venue... only this time, all the costs will be paid for by the people of just one town and not the whole district!

burgess hill town council
Burgess Hill Town Council - The home of broken promises and failure.

Council Tax To Soar 15% To Cover The Loan
On Monday 29th January, your town councillors took the unpresidented step in approving not just a rise in council tax for 2018/19 but also another 7.5% rise for 2019/20 as they get the finances in place to service the loan - this before it's even been agreed to go ahead with building a new venue and without exhausting other funding attempts!

Look How Far We've Plunged Under Our Councillors
In 2011, the town wide strategy was presented to us by Cllr Andrew Barrett-Miles. Take 4,500 new homes and receive £80 million from developers to spend on improving the town. From this £80 million, £4.5 million was going to be used for a new modern arts and entertainment venue. About 1.7% of the public backed this strategy (via dodgy no name questionaires being stuffed into a box at a pub)

Barrett-Miles' 'cast-iron guarantee' for receiving the £80 million turned into 'We hope to get the money' to then 'We'll have to ask MSDC for the money' to 'We'll be competing against other villages who want a claim on the money' to then 'We'll have to finance the new venue ourselves via fundraising and applying for grants' to then 'Getting grants will be very difficult' which has now led us to the ultimate failure by our councillors by leaving the £9.5 million cost at the feet of Burgess Hill residents.

andre barrett-miles
Cllr Andrew Barrett-Miles - Failed to deliver on his 'Cast-Iron Guarantees' thus far

Trust Us?!?!
On Monday evening at the town council meeting, Cllr Andrew Barrett-Miles said that he was 'very relaxed' about putting the cost on Burgess Hill residents. He also said that we the public should 'trust us' (Burgess Hill Town Council)

burgess hill town council
The scene from the town council meeting on Monday evening

To Be Continued....
This is just one of a number of stories to be published by Burgess Hill Uncovered over the coming weeks. There's a lot to consider as we seek to make the public as informed as possible about this whole debacle... which is more than can be said for the town council who can't even be honest with their residents on Facebook when directly asked if the tax payer will be footing the bill for a new venue, and they want us to trust them?!??!

Spread the word, Burgess Hill residents will have to pay £9.5 million over 50 years and service the debt for any losses that a new community venue makes.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Should the resIdents of Burgess Hill have to foot the £9.5 million bill to replace the Martlets Hall when we our councillors waved away the existing building for free AND broke the promise of a replacement being funded by new housing development?

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