Council's Plans for Assembly Rooms Still Have Problems

December 5, 2018 1:06 PM

After four years of delay and uncertainty from Labour over what to do with the Assembly Rooms, it seems a solution is still not in sight.

After several years of working with consultants, Labour came up with a plan for an expensive new building. This however proved unpopular with local groups, who felt that it wasn't well suited to their needs.

Cllr Ruth Skelton said "The Conservatives decided to publicly commit to refurbishing the existing building before knowing how much it would cost. That now doesn't look like a wise decision. Detailed investigations have revealed plenty of issues with the current building that will need sorting out. The estimated cost of refurbishment has gone up from £10 million to £25 million. And, under the Conservatives' proposal, the venue would still need subsidizing every year.

"Labour's plans for a replacement building were not affordable, and would have drained money away from vital services such as looking after vulnerable children and frail older people, or from repairing local roads and pavements. Labour's plans didn't look at all options, and didn't consult those it should have. Four years after the fire, all they had to show for it was a big bill for consultants and an overoptimistic, unaffordable proposal.

"Liberal Democrats said all options needed to be examined before making any decisions and local groups properly consulted to deliver the best venue for Derby. This is an important facility for Derby and a big investment for the Council. Let's not assume we know best and jump in with both feet; let's do it properly and give Derby the venue it deserves."