Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bingo-ing Mad Moves By Council

The word cackhanded seems appropriate for today's news that the Mecca Bingo hall at Regent Circus is to close - in a week and remain empty for years.

Owners Rank have sold the building to Swindon Borough Council, who might have accepted the offer after one too many drinks at Rudi's next door if the surprised attitude of the councillor for Covingham and Nythe is anything to go by. Councillor Phil Young, cabinet member for economic development, regeneration and development said they have no plans to do anything with the site in the near future.

The council have a policy to take ownership of sites that form part of future regeneration plans, but when the member in charge of implementing that policy says "we have no plans", why didn't they make the Rank Group sell it onto someone else in the meantime? This seems to be the Tented Market scenario all over again, but even with a plan in place, there's no promise that the developers will come up with anything progressive.

Swindon Centric Says ; What the hell is going on at Swindon Borough Council? Is the whole coachload of councillors asleep at the wheel? So the member for economic development is to achieve his objectives, by leaving usable buildings vacant? Where is the New Swindon Company's voice in all this, or are they on the same bus as the council, snoozing?

PS - If this continues, the new central library is going to look bizzare with the hulking ruin of the college at the foot of Victoria Hill and a boarded up bingo hall across the road for company.

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