Madam, I feel that I must respond to a couple of letters that you published last week. On the issue of the Ryefield Centre, I was asked by several residents about a rumour that it was closing, lock, stock and barrel. I made enquiries, found out that it was not and told your good self that fact, which you then reported. At a later date, I found out that the Ryefield Centre was reviewing its lettings policy and that this involved some current tenants not having their bookings renewed. I understand that is because a potential tenant might want a large proportion of the currently available space. Of course I much regret misleading people if that is what I did, but at the time the concern was that the whole building would be shut down and sold. It is not.
Another correspondent, under your heading "Asset Transfers – what a disappointment" has said that "..it was not even hinted at that many street cleansing jobs were under threat." and he would never have voted for an increase in Council Tax at the public meeting held, if he had known. It was not hinted at, because this is an issue for Balfour Beatty, acting as an agent for the County Council and at no stage had they communicated with the Town Council about this issue. I too was shocked when I heard of these job losses. In fact the Town Council undertakes additional street cleansing in the town centre and that is not changing. The issue for that public meeting was "Should we take on these assets or not ?" and the overwhelming majority of people attending said "Go for it !" I might add that 97.1% of people responding to the Town Council's consultation on this issue supported that position.