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Croydon Council remains tight-lipped on £33m Fairfield Halls revamp

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CROYDON'S new Labour council has refused publicly to commit to investing a promised £33million into the revamp of Fairfield Halls.

But the party's culture spokesman claimed the half-century-old venue will still get the refurbishment its management and board say it needs.

The assurance from Cllr Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, made at Monday night's council meeting, failed to convince opposition Conservative members that the full £33million pledged by their previous administration would be spent.

Cllr 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 that 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 Cllr Tim Pollard said he remained unhappy that Cllr Godfrey would not openly commit to spending the £33million pledged by his party when it was in power.

Croydon Council remains tight-lipped on £33m Fairfield Halls revamp


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