Sunday, 8 January 2012

Form should follow function

It is a simple concept, but sadly lost on some people. A recent manifestation of the concept is in a report by a group of councillors in Tunbridge Wells seeking to re-home the art gallery and museum in more suitable premises.   The councillors are correct: the current premises are inadequate.  Nevertheless it has not stopped some people claiming that there should be no re-location as to do so would threaten the retention of the civic complex.

In other words, make do with inadequate buildings, as it is more important to retain the buildings than improve the functions current housed there.  To their credit, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and a leading member of the Civic Society, expressed support for re-location.

The Assembly Hall is no longer fit for purpose, the police station lost the magistrates court function years ago and the Town Hall is under-utilised.  A good case can be made for transferring all the functions undertaken in these buildings to purpose built accommodation. 

Tunbridge Wells is stagnating, no doubt good news as far as the Aspic Brigade is concerned, but bad news for businesses and the local population.  The increase in out- of -town supermarkets and the expansion of the retail park has drawn people away from the town centre.  We must recover the vitality of the town centre.

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