Heritage centre support row

PUBLISHED: 12:54 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

CLAIMS of lack of support for the heritage centre in Buntingford caused a row between the public and councillors at the annual town meeting on Thursday. Those running the centre complained that interest in the venture was rapidly declining. Centre spokesw

CLAIMS of lack of support for the heritage centre in Buntingford caused a row between the public and councillors at the annual town meeting on Thursday.

Those running the centre complained that interest in the venture was rapidly declining.

Centre spokeswoman Jenny Dingley said: "It's hard to keep it going when there's so little support and little response and interest in what we're trying to do.

"We're disappointed with the town council's interest and the support from the people of the town as well as from East Herts District Council."

The centre opened in June 1998 and has since held 27 exhibitions.

Ms Dingley added: "We have been trying our best for the past eight years to put something in the town we feel is valuable, but if the town doesn't want it, then that's up to you."

But Cllr Jon Ling replied: "Everyone should come to the meeting with something positive to say.

"The best way to get people involved is to encourage them."

Resident Ashley Cantor told the meeting that only two out of the 12 councillors had been to see a recent exhibition.

"How can you comment on something you have never seen?" he said.

And Cllr Eunice Woods said: "People need a kick up the backside, because if people do come to the heritage centre they are from outside the area. Few people are from Buntingford."

- The Manor House was another issue raised at the meeting for the second time in two years - and people still want the town council to sell the property to make a saving.

Resident Malcolm Taylor said: "The town council decided not to sell the Manor House, but I think its decision must have been based on emotion and not facts."

Cllr Ling said a report was being prepared on the Manor House, but this would not be available for some months.

"Costs for refurbishment are changing by the day, so we will keep reviewing the situation," he said.

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