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Our response to RDC latest press release on the future of the Mill Hall

March 27, 2022 8:54 AM

On Friday, RDC has issued a press release that could be somewhat confusing for residents. For clarity this is the Lib Dem response to that press release.

The Liberal Democrat Group on Rochford District Council has rejected the contents of a Council Press Release which stated there was 'cross party' support for demolition of Rayleigh's Mill Hall. Lib Dem Group Leader James Newport stated "this is the complete opposite of the Lib Dem position. We want Mill Hall opened for public use as soon as possible and we will be campaigning for that in the upcoming local elections. Now there is a clear choice between Lib Dems to keep Mill Hall and Conservatives who want to demolish it. Many people saw during the covid epidemic when it was used as a vaccination centre, that Mill Hall was a sturdy building that we should all be proud of and want to protect. Let's be clear that this press statement is not so much a Council announcement as a message from the Conservative Party who have been determined to destroy our Mill Hall and other facilities from day one.

We are also concerned that the correct procedures have not been followed. The Council has not agreed this statement and to suggest that the Lib Dems support the Conservative plans is completely untrue.

In addition to the potential loss of an important Rayleigh facility, the Lib Dems are also horrified at the environmental consequences of the Conservative plans. Demolition of a large building like Mill Hall would require convoys of huge lorries through our town centre to transport the debris away to landfill, only then to rebuild an inferior replacement 'community hall' would crazy. The carbon emissions alone would be indefensible. It is what Norman Foster and other eminent architects have described as a 'wasteful addiction to demolition and rebuilding'. The people of Rayleigh will have an opportunity to decide the fate of this building and other public facilities like the Civic Suite and gardens in the election on 5thMay.