Observers not needed says council

Observers from Horncastle Town Council will no longer be required to attend Stanhope Hall trustee meetings, it can be revealed.
Stanhope HallStanhope Hall
Stanhope Hall

The matter was discussed at last month’s Horncastle Town Council meeting.

Ahead of last month’s meeting, the Stanhope Hall Trustees wrote a letter to town clerk Amanda Bushell stating that: ‘the trustees do not feel it is necessary to continue to have observers from the town council attending Stanhope Hall Trustee meetings’.

The letter, which was shared with the Horncastle News, reads: “Following the change of ownership of the Stanhope Hall from ELDC to Horncastle Town Council, the trustees of the hall do not feel it is necessary to continue to have observers from the town council attending the Hall Trustee Meetings.

“As we understand it, the observers were requested by East Lindsey District Council and appointed by the town council in 2010 to observe the proceedings during the early stages of business.

“With the change of ownership on April 1, 2021, and there currently being three town councillors on the board of trustees who can report to the council, we feel observers are no longer necessary.

“It is noted by the trustees that Stanhope Hall will be the only organisation/asset leaseholder that is required to have observers attending trustee or management meetings to report back to the town council on its management and as such feel this is an unfair imposition.

“The hall has been run successfully since 2010 and has a dedicated board of trustees, some of whom have run successful businesses in their own right for many years, so are not without experience.

“The hall currently has a healthy bank balance, complies with all the requirements of health and safety acts, has insurance, complies with building maintenance, has fully let office space, has forward bookings for events into 2022 and, has recently passed a full fire safety audit all this achieved whilst maintaining the business during the existing pandemic.

“Currently there can be no good reason for the town council to appoint observers, in fact as stated previously there are already three very experienced diligent and professional members of the town council doing exactly that and ensuring the hall is run in a professional and business-like manner.”

At the meeting, councillors voted in favour of a proposal to no longer have observers at Stanhope Hall trustee meetings.

However, there were concerns raised about the number of trustees

Speaking at the meeting, town Councillor Alan Lockwood said: “Firstly I have no overriding concerns having been an observer for a couple of years.

“We have the confidence in ourselves but we need to get trustees more involved.”

Town mayor, Councillor Fiona Martin said: “I think it is no secret that we have been seeking trustees, we have put a plea out on several occasions. The key to this is the recruitment of trustees.”