My name is Jean. I have had the privilege of serving Moreton as one of your Town Councillors since May 2021. I love problem solving, people and hate injustice. My preference is to engage with people in person. This page is intended for me to listen and keep Moreton informed.
There is UNITY in CommUNITY
The former Royal British Legion
OneMoreton, a passionate group of socially minded residents and I are campaigning for additional local services in the form of a Community Hub. Now that Moreton-in-Marsh residents are co-owners of the former Royal British Legion (RBL), a building of historic interest, residents have not yet been formerly consulted about what they want to see happen with their asset nor were they publically notified of a vote to demolish just before Christmas of 2021.
OneMoreton want to see democracy in action. By canvassing peacefully we are giving our community the opportunity to be heard. Whether you want to see the building demolished or refurbished, we invite you to make your views know by filling in our petition. Should we have missed you, simply email your response to the questions below to OneMoreton@outlook.com.
Do you think we should keep the RBL building? YES/NO
If yes, what do you think would be a good use for the building?
If no, why?
Thank you for your participation,
Tuesday 10th May 2022
Photographs of the RBL were taken during a site visit in June 2021
“All information collected in the name of the public should be made public”
Rear–Admiral Nick Wilkinson.
Dear Residents of Moreton-in-Marsh,
With urgency, I write to you because I feel I must. It has taken over two weeks of queries with five District and Town Councillors to receive confirmation that a full planning application will not be required before your community asset, the RBL (Royal British Legion) building is demolished. They are yet to answer the question as to whether MiMTC (Moreton-in-Marsh Town Council) has submitted a Prior Notification application. However, it is clear from past records a Pre-planning Application for a ‘Car park and Residential development’ was sort on behalf of MiMTC on 11th September 2017 and 13th October 2017 in which a CDC Planning Officer writes 'I have no objection to its demolition’. MiMTC claimed ‘the unit has been vacant for a number of years, with no apparent interest for re-use as a community facility. It can even be argued that the site is no longer in lawful use as a community facility as the subject site is no longer utilised, and no longer meets this community function.’
The commercially confidential Costed Options papers 1,2,3 and 4, written by Cllr Viviani do not include any proposal for the development and cost estimates for PHASE B. PHASE B concerns the building and the land between the RBL and the old Post Office. See the site map on page 2. However, it was stressed by my colleagues when reviewing my proposals how this information is essential before Council can vote.
On this basis, with Great Western Railways (GWR) approval, it appears to me that on the 7th December 2021 the decision to demolish the building was considered prematurely. Within the agenda item it is argued ‘if the building is demolished the current costs would significantly reduce’. However, I can confirm the estimated monthly costs for the management of for the RBL building (Joint Title Absolute*) is £730.00 Excl. whereas the costs to retain the scaffolding surrounding the Redesdale Hall (Custodian Trustee**) is £1481.92 Excl. In summary, it appears that MiMTC is paying for the upkeep of a building Moreton does not own. The management of the hall is the responsibility of the Redesdale Hall Trust (Charity no: 288918). See website links below.
Before the purchase of the RBL site, in discussions with CDC (Cotswolds District Council), MiMTC had indicated ‘overall support for the consideration of all options for the mixed-use of the site, subject to ensuring the provision of the integrated Transport Hub. This could include the provision of affordable or social housing on upper floors if there is the capacity to do so’. Reference of this email is recorded in the third Costed Options paper. In summary, residents of Moreton are now paying the 35-year loan/mortgage towards the purchase of an asset but have been given NO say in how the asset is invested by the individuals you appointed as asset managers.
In response to Cllr Webster’s words ‘if anyone can find a way to use the building while delivering the Transport Hub, then there's very little time to put that suggestion forward’. Two proposals were put forward in June and October 2021 by myself, which have been strongly opposed by Council from the onset. With this all-in mind, and in line with the Local Government Transparency Code 2015*** and Freedom of Information Act 2000**** I now make public to you Costed Option Paper 5.
Sign our petition. Details can be found at the end of this document. The OneMoreton campaign group are now canvassing throughout Moreton because your views matter!
Cllr Jean Blackbeard
Sunday 17th April 2022
This letter is my own personal view and not that of Moreton-in-Marsh Town Council.
The future of the old British Legion site and beyond
By Dr Derrick Whitehouse BA MEd MA PhD
As an Anthropologist, one thing I have learnt about life is, in order to have an accurate picture, we need to take everything into consideration when making decisions. This seems to be essential when considering the old British Legion building (Near Moreton Railway Station) and the area surrounding it...
Buildings Must Be Recycled and Reused to Help Tackle Climate Change
Published 26 February 2020
'To meet the government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050, we must recycle, reuse and responsibly adapt our existing historic buildings, according to this year’s Heritage Counts report.'...