Langport Town Council publish minute
The actual meeting happened back in June. Two of the remaining four elected councillors were not at it. But we finally have a minute officially published by Langport Town Council on what exactly was discussed. The minute is included in the papers for the council meeting at Langport Town Hall tonight. In the interests of completeness and so as to publish the full context the text of the minute reads as follows:
Hanging Chapel Lease
The lease on the Hanging Chapel lapsed in 2012 and following the rental valuations of all Trust properties, the Trust Administrator is now in a position to discuss new terms with the Portcullis Lodge of Freemasons. Issues with the previous lease were discussed along with various options on the next steps that were identified by the Trust Administrator.
The Trust Administrator summed up Councillors’ comments and Cllr Seaton proposed the consensus negotiating position, involving two options, which was seconded by Cllr Gadd. It was agreed that the Trust Administrator with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman should negotiate with the Freemasons on the two agreed options. (7 votes for this resolution, 1 against – Cllr Saunders and 1 abstention Cllr Macnab).
The agreed negotiating position and options are:-
- The Portcullis Lodge of Freemasons to be given the option to buy the freehold of the Hanging Chapel at market rate as established by independent valuation.
- Or if the Portcullis Lodge of Freemasons declines they can enter into a 25 year full repairing lease. The Trust wishes to see open days for the public throughout the year to form part of the lease. It was further agreed that the current ‘state of repair’ of the Hanging Chapel is a cause for concern and the cost of the required work must be met by the Portcullis Lodge of Freemasons as the lease that expired in 2012 was a full repairing lease.
- If the Portcullis Lodge of Freemasons does not agree to the new terms and to cover the cost of the required work, it was agreed that they can buy the Hanging Chapel or be faced with notice to quit.
At the end of the meeting Cllr Saunders asked the Trust Administrator whether ‘we’ can now discuss publicly the decision that was reached. Trust Administrator responded and called for the attention of all Councillors – and made it clear that any disclosure would be a breach of the Code of Conduct; that the tenants have a right to confidentiality and that should our planned negotiating strategy be leaked before discussions with them, it could have an adverse effect on the outcome.
With no further business the meeting closed at 8.51pm
So we now know that the Town Council did indeed consider selling the Hanging Chapel and that this appears from the wording of the minute, to be the council’s preferred option.