Thursday, 29 January 2015

Rusthall's councillors

Rusthall is represented on Tunbridge Wells Borough Council by two UKIP councillors.  One is due to retire this year and has been selected to contest Derby South at the general election.  Will he be contesting the council seat?

The other councillor has been selected to contest Thanet North.  It is rumoured he has moved to the constituency.  Will he be continuing as a councillor?  His attendance record at TWBC meetings in 2014 was 40%.

Royal Victoria Hall Theatre

Southborough Town Council meets tonight.  A petition calling for the retention of the Royal Victoria Hall Theatre has attracted over 5,000 signatures.  It will be a lively meeting.

It is reported that the Council is looking at the possibility of retaining the existing building in the proposed 'Hub'. Should it be decided that is not possible a new theatre will be part of the Hub.  The theatre will not be simply a hall with a stage at one end but a functioning theatre building.

Let us hope that some clarity will be forthcoming at the Council meeting.  The important issue is the provision of a theatre.  The form such provision takes - retention of the existing building or new build is a secondary consideration.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Royal Victoria Hall Theatre, Southborough: Closure

For many years Christmas and New Year celebrations were celebrated, in part, by a visit to the pantomime performed at the Royal Victoria Hall Theatre.  The family enjoyed the performances and the charm and intimacy of the venue.  Now the theatre is closed and should Southborough Town Council have its way it will never re-open.  The Council plans a 'community hub'.  The hub will house the library (the library building is to be demolished to make way for housing) and a new theatre.  However there is some doubt as to the size of the new theatre and some believe it will simply be a large hall with a stage at one end. Whatever does get built (if it ever does) will not have the ambiance of the existing theatre.

Many people are working hard to save the theatre, not simply by asking the taxpayer to subsidise the repair and running costs, but by seeking to turn the theatre into a community asset managed, funded  and leased/owned by the community through a community interest company. I wish them luck.

Next Christmas all we may be able to reflect on is the continuing pantomime that is Southborough Town Council