Actors and directors heartbroken as Sutton's theatres face curtain call

A petition has been launched to save the Secombe Theatre

A petition has been launched to save the Secombe Theatre

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Council plans to shut down all of Sutton’s theatres have been met by a wave of opposition from the arts community, with one actor describing the move as ‘heart-breaking’.

Sutton Council want to draw the curtains on the Secombe Theatre in Sutton, the Charles Cryer Theatre in Carshalton, and Wallington Public Hall as they strive to cut £40m off their annual budget.

If it goes ahead the proposal will rip the cultural heart out of the borough, leaving no large venues for Sutton’s drama community to perform.

Since it went live on Friday, August 29, an online Save The Secombe Theatre petition has gathered 466 signatures from members of the public and the theatre community.

Actor and theatre director Justin Eade, from Cheam, said: "I am a great supporter of the Secombe Theatre.

"I was told this morning and it is heart-breaking.

"I have a form of autism, and people in the know about the illness will tell you that its main affect is the limitation of social skills.

"I feel without the social skills and the self-esteem gained from this fantastic theatre, I would not be where I am today."

An online petition from Carshalton resident Andy Brice urging the council to reconsider the future of Sutton's theatres has 309 signatures.

A Facebook page titled save the Charles Cryer Theatre has 626 likes. 

The venues host shows and performances throughout the year, and serves as a platform for amateur dramatic and youth theatre groups.

Dave Thompson, chairman of the Sutton Amateur Dramatic Club, said: "We were shocked here, especially as they are closing all of them.

"It seems they have gone a bit overkill to me. 

"Wallington Public Hall is unsafe and needs work, so I can understand that closing, but all of them is too much.

"We are looking into other venues now. It may have to be village halls and places like that, we are unsure at the moment."

Sutton Council is seeking to save £355,000 a year through the closures, but will rake in millions should they sell the sites to developers.

The council states the Secombe Theatre costs £325,000 a year, with savings of £210,000 a year to be made if it closes.

They estimate £70,000 a year will be saved if the Charles Cryer Theatre is shut down- with it costing the council £157,000 a year at the moment.

Wallington Hall is reported to set the council back £125,000 a year, with £75,000 a year in savings should it be closed.

Decommissioning the buildings will incur costs, impacting on any savings the council could make.

The Save Secombe Theatre petition was launched by the Labour Party candidate for Sutton and Cheam, Emily Brothers.

She said: "The campaign opposes the proposed closure of The Secombe Theatre and calls on The London Borough of Sutton to take positive steps to facilitate community leadership, extending the feasibility period to March 31, 2016."

The proposal to shut the theatres will be formally submitted to the council's environment and neighbourhood committee on Thursday, September 4. 

If the plans are approved, consultations will begin, and the issue will be discussed at a full council meeting on November 7.

Should the proposal be given the go-ahead all the three theatres will be shut down around April next year.

To visit the Save The Secombe Theatre petition page click here. 

To visit the Save The Charles Cryer Theatre Facebook page click here.

To visit the Reconsider The Future of Sutton's Theatres click here.

From Tuesday, September 9, people can submit their views on the proposals via an online survey at www.suttonsfuture.org.

Are you a member of the Sutton theatre community? Do you regularly use the theatre? Call the news desk on 020 8722 6358, or email tom.gillespie@london.newsquest.co.uk 

Comments (32)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:46pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Pizza Burger says...

As a Lib Dem voter, I confirm that I will vote either Labour or Green in the next election if the council doesn't reconsider this. The theatres must stay!
As a Lib Dem voter, I confirm that I will vote either Labour or Green in the next election if the council doesn't reconsider this. The theatres must stay! Pizza Burger
  • Score: 39

1:53pm Mon 1 Sep 14

al the taxi says...

so after the council wasted so much money over the years on Sutton life centre and making a mess of Sutton high street,the theatre have to suffer!joke of a council!
so after the council wasted so much money over the years on Sutton life centre and making a mess of Sutton high street,the theatre have to suffer!joke of a council! al the taxi
  • Score: 18

2:26pm Mon 1 Sep 14

David7 says...

More than 80% against so far in the Guardian vote, Sutton Council – it’s not scientific, but then your consultations are a sham. Listen to the people for once.
More than 80% against so far in the Guardian vote, Sutton Council – it’s not scientific, but then your consultations are a sham. Listen to the people for once. David7
  • Score: 36

2:30pm Mon 1 Sep 14

JMA2014 says...

Sutton Council never listens to the residents - look at the mess made in the High Street and in Hackbridge.
Sutton Council never listens to the residents - look at the mess made in the High Street and in Hackbridge. JMA2014
  • Score: 15

3:00pm Mon 1 Sep 14

andybrice says...

I could sympathise with the council wanting to withdraw their subsidy from these venues, but it seems like they are also planning to simply asset-strip the sites to raise quick cash.

A decision like this deserves a proper public consultation to hear alternative plans, to rush it through is an affront to local democracy.
I could sympathise with the council wanting to withdraw their subsidy from these venues, but it seems like they are also planning to simply asset-strip the sites to raise quick cash. A decision like this deserves a proper public consultation to hear alternative plans, to rush it through is an affront to local democracy. andybrice
  • Score: 15

3:52pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Bill UKIP C&W says...

As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con.

However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis?

I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough.



Bill Main-Ian
UKIP PPC for
Carshalton & Wallington.
As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con. However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis? I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough. Bill Main-Ian UKIP PPC for Carshalton & Wallington. Bill UKIP C&W
  • Score: -4

3:59pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Hugh Dunnit says...

Whilst I disagree with the council proposals for sell off, I also think it's time the Arts community stood on their own two feet instead of relying on subsidies from the rest of us. if something is popular, it will make money.
Whilst I disagree with the council proposals for sell off, I also think it's time the Arts community stood on their own two feet instead of relying on subsidies from the rest of us. if something is popular, it will make money. Hugh Dunnit
  • Score: -7

5:56pm Mon 1 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

It is encouraging to see that 84% of readers think the theatres should stay open. That is pretty overwhelming, and the Council need to listen to this, and find a way to keep the theatres open. Quite apart from the huge cultural loss, there would also be economic loss among for instance local bars and restaurants who get valuable trade from pre-theatre diners. On top of the cultural and economic cost, there is also the reputational damage that a theatre-less borough would suffer. People travel from far and wide to see plays here. The theatres are just about the best thing about the borough, and their future needs to be safeguarded.
It is encouraging to see that 84% of readers think the theatres should stay open. That is pretty overwhelming, and the Council need to listen to this, and find a way to keep the theatres open. Quite apart from the huge cultural loss, there would also be economic loss among for instance local bars and restaurants who get valuable trade from pre-theatre diners. On top of the cultural and economic cost, there is also the reputational damage that a theatre-less borough would suffer. People travel from far and wide to see plays here. The theatres are just about the best thing about the borough, and their future needs to be safeguarded. ResidentTony
  • Score: 31

6:40pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Belmont_Lady_49 says...

It is OUTRAGEOUS this is even being considered! How dare the council close OUR much loved theatres. I for one won't allow the arts to suffer in this way; if the theatres are sold-off, we should all protest by voting Labour (or even Conservative) at the next election...the council will regret this in the long run.
It is OUTRAGEOUS this is even being considered! How dare the council close OUR much loved theatres. I for one won't allow the arts to suffer in this way; if the theatres are sold-off, we should all protest by voting Labour (or even Conservative) at the next election...the council will regret this in the long run. Belmont_Lady_49
  • Score: 27

10:49pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Central-Sutton-resident says...

Bill UKIP C&W wrote:
As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con.

However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis?

I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough.



Bill Main-Ian
UKIP PPC for
Carshalton & Wallington.
Whilst not a ukip voter - this makes perfect sense. It's a shame people are commenting on a good viable financial alternative :s
[quote][p][bold]Bill UKIP C&W[/bold] wrote: As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con. However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis? I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough. Bill Main-Ian UKIP PPC for Carshalton & Wallington.[/p][/quote]Whilst not a ukip voter - this makes perfect sense. It's a shame people are commenting on a good viable financial alternative :s Central-Sutton-resident
  • Score: 0

2:02am Tue 2 Sep 14

Wimblerandle says...

The Council have need to look at the wider picture. Sutton used to be a great town; but like most other towns it's been losing its identity with the generic stores over the years.

Do the council not realise that The Secombe and The Charles Cryer Theatres are two of the most iconic features of the borough?

People come from other neighbouring boroughs to watch shows at both venues and the loss of this will see a drop in trade. People who come to see a show at The Cryer or The Secombe are introduced to independent businesses; restaurants, pubs and shops.

If the Theatres close this will result in a horrible snowball effect. There will be less people coming from outside the borough and it will inevitably hit independent businesses. Sutton Council seem to be going for a fast save here and not looking at the long term consequences. The residents of Sutton deserve better than to have two theatres close. (I doubt many people would care about Wallington Halls I admit) I just can't imagine Carshalton without the Charles Cryer. This may sound cheesy but it's always felt like the heart of Carshalton and gives the place a real community feel.

It will be a very sad day if they do close and I'm ashamed of The Lib Dems for proposing such a drastic and ill conceived plan.

I would be interested to know if they have completed an impact assessment on this. If they haven't, they should.
The Council have need to look at the wider picture. Sutton used to be a great town; but like most other towns it's been losing its identity with the generic stores over the years. Do the council not realise that The Secombe and The Charles Cryer Theatres are two of the most iconic features of the borough? People come from other neighbouring boroughs to watch shows at both venues and the loss of this will see a drop in trade. People who come to see a show at The Cryer or The Secombe are introduced to independent businesses; restaurants, pubs and shops. If the Theatres close this will result in a horrible snowball effect. There will be less people coming from outside the borough and it will inevitably hit independent businesses. Sutton Council seem to be going for a fast save here and not looking at the long term consequences. The residents of Sutton deserve better than to have two theatres close. (I doubt many people would care about Wallington Halls I admit) I just can't imagine Carshalton without the Charles Cryer. This may sound cheesy but it's always felt like the heart of Carshalton and gives the place a real community feel. It will be a very sad day if they do close and I'm ashamed of The Lib Dems for proposing such a drastic and ill conceived plan. I would be interested to know if they have completed an impact assessment on this. If they haven't, they should. Wimblerandle
  • Score: 17

4:05am Tue 2 Sep 14

Monstermunch17 says...

Absolutely scandalous. The council members need to remember they are servants of the people. The people have overwhelmingly got behind the theatres - it is the Council's responsibility to find a way to save them.
Absolutely scandalous. The council members need to remember they are servants of the people. The people have overwhelmingly got behind the theatres - it is the Council's responsibility to find a way to save them. Monstermunch17
  • Score: 20

7:31am Tue 2 Sep 14

treblegold says...

It's worth pointing out that this isn't just about the arts. The local Meals on Wheels service is based in the kitchens at Wallington Public Hall. If the hall were to close, another location would need to be found if the service were to continue.
It's worth pointing out that this isn't just about the arts. The local Meals on Wheels service is based in the kitchens at Wallington Public Hall. If the hall were to close, another location would need to be found if the service were to continue. treblegold
  • Score: 7

11:32am Tue 2 Sep 14

David7 says...

The LibDem councillors and their PR team knew full well that a great fuss would be ensue after this announcement.

You have to ask yourself what this kite-flying exercise is the prelude to —withdraw the closure plan, then put up council tax and blame the residents?

As treblegold says, there’s more on the way. A hard punch by the council now into residents’ stomachs will make the subsequent slaps around the face seem almost palatable.

We are being played.
The LibDem councillors and their PR team knew full well that a great fuss would be ensue after this announcement. You have to ask yourself what this kite-flying exercise is the prelude to —withdraw the closure plan, then put up council tax and blame the residents? As treblegold says, there’s more on the way. A hard punch by the council now into residents’ stomachs will make the subsequent slaps around the face seem almost palatable. We are being played. David7
  • Score: 3

1:42pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Krissi says...

well Wallington Hall has been a victim of underinvestment for years- I went to an event there in the early 80s and it was in dire need of work then-nothing ever seems to be done to bring in or encourage any other daytime activities which could bring in funds- The Electric Ballroom in Camden is a market hall in the daytime and that doesn't seem to impact on it's use as a venue for bands in the evenings- we have few church halls left in the borough as far as I know and as both the threatened theatres are high st venues surely something could be done with them we don't have anywhere much locally for craftspeople for example- maybe we could start something like an indoor Abbey Mills or Covent Garden Market after all, unlike Abbey Mills we have better transport links to bring prospective customers and stallholders too
well Wallington Hall has been a victim of underinvestment for years- I went to an event there in the early 80s and it was in dire need of work then-nothing ever seems to be done to bring in or encourage any other daytime activities which could bring in funds- The Electric Ballroom in Camden is a market hall in the daytime and that doesn't seem to impact on it's use as a venue for bands in the evenings- we have few church halls left in the borough as far as I know and as both the threatened theatres are high st venues surely something could be done with them we don't have anywhere much locally for craftspeople for example- maybe we could start something like an indoor Abbey Mills or Covent Garden Market after all, unlike Abbey Mills we have better transport links to bring prospective customers and stallholders too Krissi
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Tue 2 Sep 14

labyrinth says...

Belmont_Lady_49 wrote:
It is OUTRAGEOUS this is even being considered! How dare the council close OUR much loved theatres. I for one won't allow the arts to suffer in this way; if the theatres are sold-off, we should all protest by voting Labour (or even Conservative) at the next election...the council will regret this in the long run.
I very much doubt if voting Labour or 'even' Conservative would have any effect. None of the parties has any great love for the arts.
[quote][p][bold]Belmont_Lady_49[/bold] wrote: It is OUTRAGEOUS this is even being considered! How dare the council close OUR much loved theatres. I for one won't allow the arts to suffer in this way; if the theatres are sold-off, we should all protest by voting Labour (or even Conservative) at the next election...the council will regret this in the long run.[/p][/quote]I very much doubt if voting Labour or 'even' Conservative would have any effect. None of the parties has any great love for the arts. labyrinth
  • Score: -3

3:16pm Tue 2 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

@labyrinth
It's anyone's guess which party has most love for the arts, but they all have to listen to the will of the people to get/stay elected, and, with 85% in favour of the theatres staying open, it would be a brave party that went against that strength of public support for the performing arts.
@labyrinth It's anyone's guess which party has most love for the arts, but they all have to listen to the will of the people to get/stay elected, and, with 85% in favour of the theatres staying open, it would be a brave party that went against that strength of public support for the performing arts. ResidentTony
  • Score: 8

4:19pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Niki R says...

labyrinth wrote:
Belmont_Lady_49 wrote:
It is OUTRAGEOUS this is even being considered! How dare the council close OUR much loved theatres. I for one won't allow the arts to suffer in this way; if the theatres are sold-off, we should all protest by voting Labour (or even Conservative) at the next election...the council will regret this in the long run.
I very much doubt if voting Labour or 'even' Conservative would have any effect. None of the parties has any great love for the arts.
Trust me, local Labour are up for a fight over this. They are proposing to rip our cultural provision apart. I hope my letter makes it into this week's Guardian so you can see we are with residents on this.
[quote][p][bold]labyrinth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Belmont_Lady_49[/bold] wrote: It is OUTRAGEOUS this is even being considered! How dare the council close OUR much loved theatres. I for one won't allow the arts to suffer in this way; if the theatres are sold-off, we should all protest by voting Labour (or even Conservative) at the next election...the council will regret this in the long run.[/p][/quote]I very much doubt if voting Labour or 'even' Conservative would have any effect. None of the parties has any great love for the arts.[/p][/quote]Trust me, local Labour are up for a fight over this. They are proposing to rip our cultural provision apart. I hope my letter makes it into this week's Guardian so you can see we are with residents on this. Niki R
  • Score: 8

8:59pm Tue 2 Sep 14

tony Shields says...

this is a genuine extract from the committee papers for Thursday night
as a reason to support closure of the venues.

 Two thirds of the users are 35-64
 91% are white (12% above the Sutton average)
 84% are owner occupiers (15% above the Sutton average)
 Non users are most likely to be 16-24, in private or social rented property or from a BME background

My first question as a committee member must be , "how does LBS know this " and " how can this be produced as fact"?


Councillor Tony Shields
this is a genuine extract from the committee papers for Thursday night as a reason to support closure of the venues.  Two thirds of the users are 35-64  91% are white (12% above the Sutton average)  84% are owner occupiers (15% above the Sutton average)  Non users are most likely to be 16-24, in private or social rented property or from a BME background My first question as a committee member must be , "how does LBS know this " and " how can this be produced as fact"? Councillor Tony Shields tony Shields
  • Score: 12

10:14am Wed 3 Sep 14

al the taxi says...

so most of the theatre goers have paid more money into the council coffers.on this type of stat,wonder how much is wasted on finding these so called facts.you just know if they are sold off a new mosque will appear!
so most of the theatre goers have paid more money into the council coffers.on this type of stat,wonder how much is wasted on finding these so called facts.you just know if they are sold off a new mosque will appear! al the taxi
  • Score: -2

10:56am Wed 3 Sep 14

Niki R says...

tony Shields wrote:
this is a genuine extract from the committee papers for Thursday night
as a reason to support closure of the venues.

 Two thirds of the users are 35-64
 91% are white (12% above the Sutton average)
 84% are owner occupiers (15% above the Sutton average)
 Non users are most likely to be 16-24, in private or social rented property or from a BME background

My first question as a committee member must be , "how does LBS know this " and " how can this be produced as fact"?


Councillor Tony Shields
Tony, thank you for that- very enlightening that the Lib Dems seem able to find some 'facts' to fit their agenda every time, just as they did with their incinerator. Why would it matter if theatregoers were predominantly white, older or homeowners? Are we meant to say 'tough luck' and push them out of the Borough to spend their money on entertainment elsewhere? And where is their plan to open up the theatres to encourage more diverse attendance?

I must ask, why are we getting a four week consultation when three months is the precedent Sutton has previously set? I suspect the Lib Dems have a buyer already lined up and want to rush this through to get their grubby paws on the cash ASAP. Will you push for a full and proper consultation tomorrow night please?
[quote][p][bold]tony Shields[/bold] wrote: this is a genuine extract from the committee papers for Thursday night as a reason to support closure of the venues.  Two thirds of the users are 35-64  91% are white (12% above the Sutton average)  84% are owner occupiers (15% above the Sutton average)  Non users are most likely to be 16-24, in private or social rented property or from a BME background My first question as a committee member must be , "how does LBS know this " and " how can this be produced as fact"? Councillor Tony Shields[/p][/quote]Tony, thank you for that- very enlightening that the Lib Dems seem able to find some 'facts' to fit their agenda every time, just as they did with their incinerator. Why would it matter if theatregoers were predominantly white, older or homeowners? Are we meant to say 'tough luck' and push them out of the Borough to spend their money on entertainment elsewhere? And where is their plan to open up the theatres to encourage more diverse attendance? I must ask, why are we getting a four week consultation when three months is the precedent Sutton has previously set? I suspect the Lib Dems have a buyer already lined up and want to rush this through to get their grubby paws on the cash ASAP. Will you push for a full and proper consultation tomorrow night please? Niki R
  • Score: 8

11:56am Wed 3 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

@tony Shields, Niki R
Thank you both for your excellent posts.
It's one thing for these (frankly dodgy) statistics on demographics to be used, another thing entirely for them to be critical in determining the final decision taken. I don't know whether an impact assessment (IA) is being done, but they can sometimes include an "equality impact assessment" ("EqIA") which looks at things such as this. However, if these considerations were decisive, we'd be closing down all the major central London museums in Exhibition Road, among many other cultural attractions. You don't close down facilities used mainly by one large demographic just because another, smaller, demographic does not use them as much; you try to get the latter to use them more! Talk about throwing in the towel!

This all starts to feel a bit parallel universe.....
@tony Shields, Niki R Thank you both for your excellent posts. It's one thing for these (frankly dodgy) statistics on demographics to be used, another thing entirely for them to be critical in determining the final decision taken. I don't know whether an impact assessment (IA) is being done, but they can sometimes include an "equality impact assessment" ("EqIA") which looks at things such as this. However, if these considerations were decisive, we'd be closing down all the major central London museums in Exhibition Road, among many other cultural attractions. You don't close down facilities used mainly by one large demographic just because another, smaller, demographic does not use them as much; you try to get the latter to use them more! Talk about throwing in the towel! This all starts to feel a bit parallel universe..... ResidentTony
  • Score: 6

12:10pm Wed 3 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

Just to add to what I said above, the presence of a facility not greatly used by disadvantaged demographic groups does not cause them to be any more disadvantaged. Indeed, if they could be encouraged to use the facility more, their lives would be enriched. Taking the facility away merely closes off this opportunity.
Just to add to what I said above, the presence of a facility not greatly used by disadvantaged demographic groups does not cause them to be any more disadvantaged. Indeed, if they could be encouraged to use the facility more, their lives would be enriched. Taking the facility away merely closes off this opportunity. ResidentTony
  • Score: 6

11:44pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Wait right there says...

Bill UKIP C&W wrote:
As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con.

However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis?

I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough.



Bill Main-Ian
UKIP PPC for
Carshalton & Wallington.
Your whole argument rests on your assertion that the £40m has already been identified as being saved. Even then why should a peppercorn rent be charged? If we were to scale this down the obvious comparison would be paying your rent or mortgage ( priority ) or going out for a meal or a visit to the theatre ( luxury )
[quote][p][bold]Bill UKIP C&W[/bold] wrote: As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con. However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis? I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough. Bill Main-Ian UKIP PPC for Carshalton & Wallington.[/p][/quote]Your whole argument rests on your assertion that the £40m has already been identified as being saved. Even then why should a peppercorn rent be charged? If we were to scale this down the obvious comparison would be paying your rent or mortgage ( priority ) or going out for a meal or a visit to the theatre ( luxury ) Wait right there
  • Score: -2

11:56pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Wait right there says...

ResidentTony wrote:
It is encouraging to see that 84% of readers think the theatres should stay open. That is pretty overwhelming, and the Council need to listen to this, and find a way to keep the theatres open. Quite apart from the huge cultural loss, there would also be economic loss among for instance local bars and restaurants who get valuable trade from pre-theatre diners. On top of the cultural and economic cost, there is also the reputational damage that a theatre-less borough would suffer. People travel from far and wide to see plays here. The theatres are just about the best thing about the borough, and their future needs to be safeguarded.
It won't cost you anything, would you like to sleep with Johnny Depp or Kate Moss?

The result was positive?

Amazing
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: It is encouraging to see that 84% of readers think the theatres should stay open. That is pretty overwhelming, and the Council need to listen to this, and find a way to keep the theatres open. Quite apart from the huge cultural loss, there would also be economic loss among for instance local bars and restaurants who get valuable trade from pre-theatre diners. On top of the cultural and economic cost, there is also the reputational damage that a theatre-less borough would suffer. People travel from far and wide to see plays here. The theatres are just about the best thing about the borough, and their future needs to be safeguarded.[/p][/quote]It won't cost you anything, would you like to sleep with Johnny Depp or Kate Moss? The result was positive? Amazing Wait right there
  • Score: -3

12:04am Thu 4 Sep 14

Wait right there says...

David7 wrote:
The LibDem councillors and their PR team knew full well that a great fuss would be ensue after this announcement.

You have to ask yourself what this kite-flying exercise is the prelude to —withdraw the closure plan, then put up council tax and blame the residents?

As treblegold says, there’s more on the way. A hard punch by the council now into residents’ stomachs will make the subsequent slaps around the face seem almost palatable.

We are being played.
Well said. Although I'd rather the theatres paid their own way rather than cuts to social services. Then again I don't need to worry as only one is a statutory duty.
[quote][p][bold]David7[/bold] wrote: The LibDem councillors and their PR team knew full well that a great fuss would be ensue after this announcement. You have to ask yourself what this kite-flying exercise is the prelude to —withdraw the closure plan, then put up council tax and blame the residents? As treblegold says, there’s more on the way. A hard punch by the council now into residents’ stomachs will make the subsequent slaps around the face seem almost palatable. We are being played.[/p][/quote]Well said. Although I'd rather the theatres paid their own way rather than cuts to social services. Then again I don't need to worry as only one is a statutory duty. Wait right there
  • Score: -1

12:14am Thu 4 Sep 14

Wait right there says...

ResidentTony wrote:
@tony Shields, Niki R
Thank you both for your excellent posts.
It's one thing for these (frankly dodgy) statistics on demographics to be used, another thing entirely for them to be critical in determining the final decision taken. I don't know whether an impact assessment (IA) is being done, but they can sometimes include an "equality impact assessment" ("EqIA") which looks at things such as this. However, if these considerations were decisive, we'd be closing down all the major central London museums in Exhibition Road, among many other cultural attractions. You don't close down facilities used mainly by one large demographic just because another, smaller, demographic does not use them as much; you try to get the latter to use them more! Talk about throwing in the towel!

This all starts to feel a bit parallel universe.....
Tony. Pray tell how did the local Conservative party react to the vote not to raise council tax these last 4 years?
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: @tony Shields, Niki R Thank you both for your excellent posts. It's one thing for these (frankly dodgy) statistics on demographics to be used, another thing entirely for them to be critical in determining the final decision taken. I don't know whether an impact assessment (IA) is being done, but they can sometimes include an "equality impact assessment" ("EqIA") which looks at things such as this. However, if these considerations were decisive, we'd be closing down all the major central London museums in Exhibition Road, among many other cultural attractions. You don't close down facilities used mainly by one large demographic just because another, smaller, demographic does not use them as much; you try to get the latter to use them more! Talk about throwing in the towel! This all starts to feel a bit parallel universe.....[/p][/quote]Tony. Pray tell how did the local Conservative party react to the vote not to raise council tax these last 4 years? Wait right there
  • Score: -2

12:21am Thu 4 Sep 14

Wait right there says...

Krissi wrote:
well Wallington Hall has been a victim of underinvestment for years- I went to an event there in the early 80s and it was in dire need of work then-nothing ever seems to be done to bring in or encourage any other daytime activities which could bring in funds- The Electric Ballroom in Camden is a market hall in the daytime and that doesn't seem to impact on it's use as a venue for bands in the evenings- we have few church halls left in the borough as far as I know and as both the threatened theatres are high st venues surely something could be done with them we don't have anywhere much locally for craftspeople for example- maybe we could start something like an indoor Abbey Mills or Covent Garden Market after all, unlike Abbey Mills we have better transport links to bring prospective customers and stallholders too
- I went to an event there in the early 80s - how often have you been there since? Will you miss it?
[quote][p][bold]Krissi[/bold] wrote: well Wallington Hall has been a victim of underinvestment for years- I went to an event there in the early 80s and it was in dire need of work then-nothing ever seems to be done to bring in or encourage any other daytime activities which could bring in funds- The Electric Ballroom in Camden is a market hall in the daytime and that doesn't seem to impact on it's use as a venue for bands in the evenings- we have few church halls left in the borough as far as I know and as both the threatened theatres are high st venues surely something could be done with them we don't have anywhere much locally for craftspeople for example- maybe we could start something like an indoor Abbey Mills or Covent Garden Market after all, unlike Abbey Mills we have better transport links to bring prospective customers and stallholders too[/p][/quote]- I went to an event there in the early 80s - how often have you been there since? Will you miss it? Wait right there
  • Score: -4

7:19am Thu 4 Sep 14

Giles C says...

Wait right there wrote:
David7 wrote:
The LibDem councillors and their PR team knew full well that a great fuss would be ensue after this announcement.

You have to ask yourself what this kite-flying exercise is the prelude to —withdraw the closure plan, then put up council tax and blame the residents?

As treblegold says, there’s more on the way. A hard punch by the council now into residents’ stomachs will make the subsequent slaps around the face seem almost palatable.

We are being played.
Well said. Although I'd rather the theatres paid their own way rather than cuts to social services. Then again I don't need to worry as only one is a statutory duty.
Good to see a LibDem/ Admin troll on here justifying the closures in a very nasty way of course.
Can I ask this numpty why the admin aren't looking at the Life centre at the same time which sucks in £365k of subsidy?
On the social services front why has the council underspent it's budget by over £3 mill in each of the last 3 years and why are the administration now sitting on the largest amount of reservEs it has ever had?
Just the small matter of £20 mill much more than is recommended by the boroughs auditors?
Please get back In your cage mr "wait right there"
[quote][p][bold]Wait right there[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David7[/bold] wrote: The LibDem councillors and their PR team knew full well that a great fuss would be ensue after this announcement. You have to ask yourself what this kite-flying exercise is the prelude to —withdraw the closure plan, then put up council tax and blame the residents? As treblegold says, there’s more on the way. A hard punch by the council now into residents’ stomachs will make the subsequent slaps around the face seem almost palatable. We are being played.[/p][/quote]Well said. Although I'd rather the theatres paid their own way rather than cuts to social services. Then again I don't need to worry as only one is a statutory duty.[/p][/quote]Good to see a LibDem/ Admin troll on here justifying the closures in a very nasty way of course. Can I ask this numpty why the admin aren't looking at the Life centre at the same time which sucks in £365k of subsidy? On the social services front why has the council underspent it's budget by over £3 mill in each of the last 3 years and why are the administration now sitting on the largest amount of reservEs it has ever had? Just the small matter of £20 mill much more than is recommended by the boroughs auditors? Please get back In your cage mr "wait right there" Giles C
  • Score: 5

7:46am Thu 4 Sep 14

Giles C says...

Wait right there wrote:
Bill UKIP C&W wrote:
As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con.

However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis?

I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough.



Bill Main-Ian
UKIP PPC for
Carshalton & Wallington.
Your whole argument rests on your assertion that the £40m has already been identified as being saved. Even then why should a peppercorn rent be charged? If we were to scale this down the obvious comparison would be paying your rent or mortgage ( priority ) or going out for a meal or a visit to the theatre ( luxury )
The reason is because they are Taxpayers assets ...
We pay for these through our tax system including council tax and income tax.
Therefore these are not the same as your or my mortgaged property..
[quote][p][bold]Wait right there[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bill UKIP C&W[/bold] wrote: As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con. However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis? I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough. Bill Main-Ian UKIP PPC for Carshalton & Wallington.[/p][/quote]Your whole argument rests on your assertion that the £40m has already been identified as being saved. Even then why should a peppercorn rent be charged? If we were to scale this down the obvious comparison would be paying your rent or mortgage ( priority ) or going out for a meal or a visit to the theatre ( luxury )[/p][/quote]The reason is because they are Taxpayers assets ... We pay for these through our tax system including council tax and income tax. Therefore these are not the same as your or my mortgaged property.. Giles C
  • Score: 2

8:49am Thu 4 Sep 14

Bill UKIP C&W says...

Wait right there wrote:
Bill UKIP C&W wrote:
As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con.

However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis?

I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough.



Bill Main-Ian
UKIP PPC for
Carshalton & Wallington.
Your whole argument rests on your assertion that the £40m has already been identified as being saved. Even then why should a peppercorn rent be charged? If we were to scale this down the obvious comparison would be paying your rent or mortgage ( priority ) or going out for a meal or a visit to the theatre ( luxury )
You already own these facilities. The problem as I understand it is that the running costs are costing you money year on year, which is where they want to save money.
[quote][p][bold]Wait right there[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bill UKIP C&W[/bold] wrote: As I pointed out to your readers in my letter published on 16th July 2014, the LibDem Sutton council already have a plan of action to save the £40 million and news that all our theatres are under threat plus Wallington Hall surely is no surprise to your readers? Hence “Sutton’s Future” is a con. However there is a solution and a precedence that could be looked at. Can I refer your readers to the appalling way that the council approved the change of the lease for Carshalton Athletic FC to enable it to use the Sutton public’s property as security against money obtained from the Football Foundation. Surely it is not beyond the ability of the council to create a lease on a peppercorn basis for say 25 years and to find a suitable tenant involved in the Arts World to run our theatres on a commercial basis? I am no expert but I would imagine that with minimal leasehold costs artistic endeavour could thrive. The basis of the legal relationship would be to enable art to continue and as long as it is compliant with the terms of the lease then disposing of the assets would not be an option. Perhaps this would give us all time to recover from the prolific spending the LibDems have foisted on us without actually disposing of assets that future generations should be able to enjoy in the borough. Bill Main-Ian UKIP PPC for Carshalton & Wallington.[/p][/quote]Your whole argument rests on your assertion that the £40m has already been identified as being saved. Even then why should a peppercorn rent be charged? If we were to scale this down the obvious comparison would be paying your rent or mortgage ( priority ) or going out for a meal or a visit to the theatre ( luxury )[/p][/quote]You already own these facilities. The problem as I understand it is that the running costs are costing you money year on year, which is where they want to save money. Bill UKIP C&W
  • Score: 2

12:05pm Thu 4 Sep 14

ResidentTony says...

Wait right there wrote:
ResidentTony wrote:
It is encouraging to see that 84% of readers think the theatres should stay open. That is pretty overwhelming, and the Council need to listen to this, and find a way to keep the theatres open. Quite apart from the huge cultural loss, there would also be economic loss among for instance local bars and restaurants who get valuable trade from pre-theatre diners. On top of the cultural and economic cost, there is also the reputational damage that a theatre-less borough would suffer. People travel from far and wide to see plays here. The theatres are just about the best thing about the borough, and their future needs to be safeguarded.
It won't cost you anything, would you like to sleep with Johnny Depp or Kate Moss?

The result was positive?

Amazing
You've lost me. Please explain...no in fact don't.
[quote][p][bold]Wait right there[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: It is encouraging to see that 84% of readers think the theatres should stay open. That is pretty overwhelming, and the Council need to listen to this, and find a way to keep the theatres open. Quite apart from the huge cultural loss, there would also be economic loss among for instance local bars and restaurants who get valuable trade from pre-theatre diners. On top of the cultural and economic cost, there is also the reputational damage that a theatre-less borough would suffer. People travel from far and wide to see plays here. The theatres are just about the best thing about the borough, and their future needs to be safeguarded.[/p][/quote]It won't cost you anything, would you like to sleep with Johnny Depp or Kate Moss? The result was positive? Amazing[/p][/quote]You've lost me. Please explain...no in fact don't. ResidentTony
  • Score: 1
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree