Mr Baijumon Thittala, a Cambridge resident, has welcomed the news that the future of Shire Hall is now set to be decided by all members of Cambridgeshire County Council rather than by the small Commercial and Investment Committee. Mr Thittala asked Councillor Josh Shuman, the Tory lead on commercial property at the County, about the County Council’s proposed move from Shire Hall at the Full Council meeting today, 6 February. The Conservative administration are considering relocating all services from Cambridge in a bid to save money and leasing out or selling off the building but Mr Thittala highlighted the importance of the site to Cambridge’s heritage as well as asking how key services for residents, such as the Register office, will be maintained.
Mr Thittala said: “Shire Hall is not just the administrative centre for Cambridgeshire County Council but also an important heritage asset for Cambridge. It sits at the highest point of our beautiful city and sits besides Castle Mound, an Ancient Scheduled Monument with statutory protection. It is vital that it is protected from inappropriate development or use and that decisions about its future are made in a public and transparent way and one in the best interests of the city’s residents as well.”
Councillor Claire Richards said: “The County Council are the guardians of an important and sensitive site not just for Castle division but for the whole of Cambridge. Its future needs to be debated in public and not hidden behind ‘confidential business cases’ in committees in the council. I was very pleased that Mr Thittala was able to secure a guarantee that decisions on its future use would be made by all members of the council. We will also be pressing the case for as many services as possible to be kept locally for Cambridge residents.”