Bury St Edmunds Town Council to hold meetings in Guildhall again after move
Bury St Edmunds Town Council will meet again in the historic Guildhall after it completes the move from its current offices next week.
Councillors agreed in March to sign the lease for offices at 79 Whiting Street, behind the Guildhall, after more than a year of discussions. It will share the space with the Bury St Edmunds Heritage Trust, which is responsible for the running of the Guildhall.
The move will see full council meetings held in the Guildhall’s courtroom, in which they were held for around 400 years until 1966.
Cllr Peter Thompson, Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and very proud that we are moving back into a historical building and look forward to the council being an anchor tenant for a long time.
“The council in its current form has never met in the Guildhall and it’s really exciting to be following the councils of hundreds of years ago.”
The new headquarters will give councillors and staff access to offices, a meeting room and a garden – giving the authority much more space than at its previous base on Angel Hill, where it had just two small rooms.
“It’s a win-win situation as we will have a bigger space and still be in the centre of town which is very important,” said Cllr Thompson.
He added that he had been lobbying for the move since he joined the council in 2012 as a way to make the most of the council’s budget.
“When I first joined the council I noticed how much we were spending on the actual running of the council and always wanted to make the budget much more efficient,” he said.
“I’m really happy that this will mean we are now able to add better value to the services we are providing to the town with the money we receive.”
The council will leave Angel Hill on Thursday, but staff and councillors will continue to work from home until advised otherwise by the Government.
Labour councillor Diane Hind described the move as a ‘positive’ one.
“We have looked very carefully at this for a long time and we know it’s a sound move financially and also assists the Guildhall Trust,” she said.
“I think it’s something that suits everybody because we have tried to take everything into account.”
Marilyn Lee, a Guildhall trustee, said “It has been a long time in negotiation but we are delighted to welcome the council and look forward to them holding full council meetings back in the Guildhall.”
More by this authorRhoda Morrison
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)