Furniture plans are on the table!

PUBLISHED: 12:07 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

A DEBATE over an antique table and chairs dominated Buntingford s annual town meeting. Residents are concerned that the town council may sell a set of furniture which is in the council chamber at the Manor House. Marilyn Cantor of the Heritage Centre rais

A DEBATE over an antique table and chairs dominated Buntingford's annual town meeting.

Residents are concerned that the town council may sell a set of furniture which is in the council chamber at the Manor House.

Marilyn Cantor of the Heritage Centre raised the issue at Thursday's meeting.

She said: "We were surprised to learn of the council's decision to dispose of the tables and chairs in the council chamber."

The council has not yet decided whether to replace the furniture with space-saving modern furniture, but town mayor Councillor John Noades said they needed to 'move with the times'.

Cllr Eunice Woods said: "All the chairs are unsafe and it's going to cost a great deal of money to make them safe. You may laugh about health and safety, but we the council are liable."

Cllr Ron Bray added: "Something which has not been taken into consideration is the weight and size of the furniture.

"We're limited to the number of people we can get into the chamber."

The cost of replacing the furniture was also raised.

But Cllr Noades assured people at the meeting that if the furniture was sold there would be 'more than enough' money to buy new furniture.

Chamber of commerce chairman Carol Warren said: "If you get cheap furniture you will have to replace it again in 10 years.

"You might as well sell the Manor House and get a caravan."

Town clerk Jill Jones said the matter would have to go to full council before a decision was made.

"At the moment we are looking at good quality boardroom furniture, but we are going to get a quote for restoration first," she said.

n The future of the Manor House was also discussed at the meeting.

Many residents are still adamant that the Manor House should be sold to make a saving.

Some think that the town council should make use of the Seth Ward Community Centre, but town councillors are still adamant about keeping the Manor House.

Councillor Eunice Woods said: "The council don't spend any more money than they have to.

"The Manor House is helpful to the town.

"If the town council offices were moved to the Seth Ward Community Centre the elderly would never be able to get there.

"It would be an extremely sad day if the Manor House was sold."

The Manor House was bought for £250,000 11 years ago, but it is now thought to be valued at about £650,000.

Cllr Sanjit Basra said: "The whole Manor House issue has got out of proportion.

"It's a valuable asset to Buntingford. We should not sell it. It could be worth £1million in a few years time."

Cllr Teresa Bonner, however, would be in favour of selling the Manor House.

She said: "I don't think we need a building as grand as the Manor House.

"I'm concerned with getting the best for this town. Someone should come in and do an independent survey of the building.


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