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Final crunch meeting for Weymouth Pavilion and borough services tonight
THE Future of the Pavilion and other borough services will be decided tonight.
Important financial decisions will be made in the venue threatened with closure when councillors come together for the full council meeting at 7pm .
Campaigners are hoping it’s not curtains for Weymouth Pavilion as councillors meet to set a critical budget.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council can no longer afford to operate the much-loved theatre because it is such a drain on resources and is considering closing and demolishing it.
The authority is under huge financial pressure and is set to slash a number of services and cut jobs to save money as well as agreeing a process to sell off assets.
Savings of more than £2.2m have to be achieved while setting the budget for 2013/14 and similar gaps are anticipated in future as government funding is reduced.
To see the full council agenda for tonight's meeting click here
The threat to the Pavilion has rallied locals and a group formed by Weymouth businessman Phil Say has put forward a proposal to take it off the council’s hands and run it as a not-for-profit community interest company.
Management committee members unanimously backed this option when they met earlier this month and have recommended to the full council tomorrow the option of leasing the Pavilion so it can be run for community use.
A legal process will have to be followed and a timetable has been prepared for councillors. If it was handed to the community, the venue would still close at the end of May and a new lease would begin sometime between July and September following a tendering process.
A report to full council says bookings made after the closure date will have to be cancelled and the council could face huge liabilities, up to as much as £68,000.
AS WELL as debating the future of the Pavilion, the council will also consider proposals to reduce services as it looks to balance the budget.
This includes taking £100,000 from the CCTV budget, closing Weymouth Tourist Information Centre at the end of May and Portland TIC in September, raising council tax so the increase on a Band B would be 1.9 per cent, moving to all-out elections in 2015 and reducing the number of councillors.
The process will also be started to sell off the Guildhall and the council offices on North Quay.
Investigations will also be carried out to find savings in other areas including parking, the mayor’s office, parks, and festivals and events.
PREVIOUS STORIES OUTLING THE THREAT TO THE PAVILION & SERVICES
- 20 FEB: Councillors budget meeting set to determine future of Weymouth Pavilion
- 6 FEB: Campaigners win fight to save Weymouth Pavilion after councillors pave way for takeover
- 5 FEB: LIVE: Weymouth Pavilion saved from bulldozers..for now
- 26 JAN: Weymouth councillors’ anger over Pavilion reprieve story
- 30 JAN: UPDATED: Weymouth and Portland Borough Council facing budget D-Day
- 25 JAN: Council leader Mike Goodman hits back over Pavilion internet campaign
- 23 JAN: Councillors decide to keep Weymouth Pavilion open until May
- 22 JAN: Sponsorship idea to help Weymouth Pavillion
- 20 JAN: Civic Society concerned over Weymouth Pavilion closure
- 16 JAN: LETTER - A dozen reasons to rescue Pavilion
- 3 JAN: Have your say on Weymouth and Portland budget
- 18 DEC: Weymouth Pavilion supporters told to 'use it or lose it'
- 17 DEC: Proposals invited to take over Weymouth Pavilion
- 13 DEC: LETTER - Pavilion a major part of our lives
- 12 DEC: Public asked for views on controversial Weymouth and Portland budget proposals
- 7 DEC: LETTER: Taxpayers hate funding Pavilion
- 6 DEC: LETTER - Pavilion must be saved for future
- 29 NOV: Weymouth in need of a new community theatre if the Pavilion is destroyed
- 28 NOV: LETTER - Drop the curtain on Pavilion plan
- 27 NOV: Pulling down the Weymouth Pavilion and selling the council offices
- 27 NOV: Pavilion fans are devastated
- 24 NOV: Fears grow over Pavilion's future
HAVE YOUR SAY
On the final day of the Pavilion decision let us know what you think. Should the Pavilion by kept and funded by the taxpayer or is it a burden on council's resources? Should the CCTV budget be cut? Is raising council tax the only option?