Community input welcomed

Followingmy letter in last week’s Advocate regarding the future of the former Council Chambers in Scone, I was telephoned by Jason Brooks, as the building’s new owner.
Nanjing Night Net

He took me to task for publicly raising issues about the reduced community use of the building.

But he kindly offered to consider the problems arising, urging me to find him instances of dissatisfaction with relocation of activities, and with limitations and compression of essential council services.

But collecting the full picture of the issues and reactions is too large a job for anyone other than perhaps council itself.

For a start, to reach all users, and their affected drivers and family, I would need Lee Watts’ weekly calendar and a list of attendees’ contacts for all rooms; same for the users of services and facilities.

Good data would come from records of the spectacularly successful literary event last year, its meaning increased by being in the library building, and promising to be bigger in future.

Everyone has their own story on this.

Like the older folk coming for group sessions, delighting in the little ballet girls rushing from class to their mothers.. mothers who have just picked up books, collected brochures and studied the noticeboard, used the parenting room and met friends in the foyer.

Like the groups which used to gather weekly after class at the Vogue.

The social capital and investment was endless; now it has been unravelled.

The one-stop-shop being scattered over town, inevitably people will discontinue attendances.

But we need hard cash data too, from staff on the public payroll, diverted for weeks, to disperse classes into others’ venue calendars.

They are spreading costs, time and space burdens elsewhere in town, while surrendering the gains to council from grouping its mutually supporting businesses in one building.

Many people, unaffected practically, are nevertheless emotionally devastated on behalf of all.

I meet nobody who is at ease with this.

That cost would be ongoing.

This letter reaches only a small fraction of those affected. So I can’t see how I can collect all your stories and reasons for Mr Brooks, as he has requested. So talk to him!

By all means give council your data openly, with or without signature, keeping a copy for your record.

It would be a popular decision indeed were council to reclaim the building for our common future, while assisting Mr Brooks in finding what he has wanted: a suitable premises for his business, maybe with calmer traffic, and needing less adaptation.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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