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Criticism of decision to close Tourist Information Centre in Bury St Edmunds

The Tourist Information Centre on Angel Hill in Bury. ANL-140326-151309001

The Tourist Information Centre on Angel Hill in Bury. ANL-140326-151309001

A councillor has criticised the decision to close Bury St Edmunds’ Tourist Information Centre because it was made by unelected officers at St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Cllr David Nettleton said he felt ‘dismayed’ by the decision - which will see the town’s tourism service move to The Apex and a network of hubs when the centre on Angel Hill closes in June - and that it could not be ‘called in’ for review because it was made by officers under delegated powers rather than councillors.

He said: “I feel it’s a matter of interest and therefore councillors should be reviewing the possible closure. If you delegate decisions of importance to officers, where are you going in terms of member involvement?”

He added: “Unelected officers don’t necessarily know the public’s mood. We’re supposed to know that. I’m happy to consider the proposal but it should be a proposal, not a decision.

“There’s merit in moving it, I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but a lot of people won’t be happy with it and councillors, therefore, should be determining it.”

Cllr Sarah Stamp, cabinet member for heritage, arts and culture, said she ‘strongly disagreed’ with the perception that the closure was an ‘undemocratic decision’ as it had been made with input from her and cabinet colleagues and ‘mentioned several times’ in full council, cabinet and scrutiny papers.

 

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