Council accused of ‘selling family silver’

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COUNCIL bosses have been accused of ‘selling off the last of the family silver’ as the row over the secretive sale of the Assembly Rooms continues.

Boston Borough Council has now called a special meeting to discuss the sale – as market traders have joined the fight to safeguard the loos in the historic building.

The matter has so far been closed to debate and details of the sale, which has been made subject to contracts, are still unknown with some councillors in the dark.

The press and public may not be allowed in the extraordinary meeting, with the matter deemed ‘commercially sensitive’.

The meeting will take place on September 24, following the next full council meeting.

Independent councillor Helen Staples, who was one of six councillors to demand the meeting, said: “The cabinet is a small group of people and they have made a decision that affects the whole of the population of Boston.

“You can perhaps accept that the Assembly Rooms needs an awful lot doing to it and you can slightly understand the sale of that – although I do think it’s selling off the last of the family silver – but we need public toilets.”

A council spokesman said members will be able to debate the sale and the matter may then go back to be discussed by the cabinet.

Stallholders on Boston’s twice-weekly market have criticised the possible loss of the Assembly Rooms loos.

They said it could cause major issues for market workers and visitors and have now launched a petition to fight the possible closure which could come with the sale of the building.

Sue Gosling, of Tasty Tucker, said: “We pay our rents and we feel the council is going to have to find us alternative facilities.

“It’s not as if we can go down to the Park Gates – some of the stalls are one-man traders. I don’t think for a minute shops would want us to use their toilets.”

Kelly Brandon, from the fruit and veg stall on Fish Hill, added: “It would be a terrible thing. That’s a very busy toilet, it would really affect things.

“Some people don’t want to stray far from a toilet.”

Fellow fruit and veg stall owner Len Evans said: “It’s bad for traders and visitors to the town. I’ve watched four coach loads of visitors coming this morning. What are they going to think when they have to walk half-a-mile to the other side of town for the toilet?

“Every town has got to have a toilet.”

Council leader Peter Bedford said the future of the toilets would not be known until a planning application was submitted for the site.