THE new Labour council has refused to publicly commit to investing a promised £33 million into the revamp of Fairfield Halls.
But the party's culture spokesman claimed the half-century old venue will get the refurbishment its management and board say it needs.
The assurance from Councillor Timothy Godfrey, the cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, made at Monday night's council meeting, failed to convince opposition Conservative members a that the full £33 million pledged by their previous administration would be spent.
Councillor Lynne Hale, the shadow cabinet member for culture, wanted a firm commitment from Cllr Godfrey that money would be available for a new roll on-roll off lift, allowing bands and artists to easily get huge amounts of equipment on to the stage.
She also wanted an equal commitment that the council would pay for the replacement of the halls' electrical and mechanical systems which, she said, were coming to the end of their natural life.
Cllr Hale said: "Without the roll on-roll off lift Fairfield won't be able to attract the shows it needs to be commercially viable."
Cllr Godfrey said there was a large capital programme involved with Fairfield and it was part of the overall vision for creating a cultural quarter in the town.
He said: "We do need to go back to basic principle of who drives the refurbishment.
"It will be what the Fairfield board and management need as opposed to what we think they need.
"If a roll on-roll off lift is what the management wants that is what we will do."
After the meeting, new opposition leader Councillor Tim Pollard said he remained unhappy that Cllr Godfrey would not openly commit to spending the £33 million pledged by his party when it was in power.
He said the figure was not plucked out of thin air, rather it was the total the board and management had agreed with the council was needed to bring about full modernisation.