Councillors vow to fight on as transfer of town hall approved
OPPONENTS to the transfer of ownership of Brixham Town Hall have vowed to fight on despite the move being approved.
Members of the town council resumed a meeting abandoned last month and voted by a majority to approve the change of ownership of the listed building from Torbay Council to Brixham Town Council.
At the April meeting four councillors threatened to walk out, forcing the meeting to be adjourned.
When the meeting resumed , all four councillors opposed every agenda item relating to the town hall and tried to have the meeting reconvened after the election of the new chairman at the annual meeting, but that failed too.
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There were arguments about whether the four dual-hatted councillors Mike Morey, Jackie Stockman, Vic Ellery and Matthew James were allowed to take part as they had been under investigation yet to be cleared by the standards sub committee.
Cllr Lynne Armstrong, who opposes the transfer of ownership of the town hall to the town council, said: "We should not take this resolution before the election of a new chairman.
"To take this item before is a nonsense. There are still live complaints against the four councillors.
"It is not the end. We will still continue and a review is going ahead.
"Why take a decision now when it could be undone at a later stage? It is a nonsense."
Fellow opponent Cllr Chris Lomas added: "We have people bulldozing through with this, but in the end it is the people of Brixham who will end up paying for it."
Cllr Vic Ellery said: "We have sought legal advice and we four are allowed to make some decision, even though there might be some review or judicial appeal at a later stage.
"There seems to be some filibustering here to delay the process. We should do what we're supposed to do, which is to make a decision."
Following the election of Brian Harland to the chairmanship by nine votes to three, the annual meeting started.
Cllr Paul Addison was chosen as vice chair unopposed.
As part of the motions voted through in connection with the town hall transfer, councillors agreed that the town council should move into the former police station area of the building and knock through to the office the clerk currently uses.
It will cost the town council £5,000 in rent annually for the two offices.
Work will be undertaken to make the facilities also fit for purpose.