Whilst shopping in Montague Street yesterday, I happened to read a noticeboard erected by the council, confirming plans for renovating the Montague Street pedestrian precinct.
I was surprised, however, to note that it was planned to remove the existing stone-built bandstand in the centre of the precinct and replace it with a modern ‘open-plan’ type covered structure.
The new structure will be erected in a different position to the current bandstand and will be used for public performances.
Although some may believe that the proposed change is a positive one and be an improvement on the existing arrangement, I am concerned that the decision to go ahead with this change was based on a consultation exercise which produced an extremely low response from members of the public.
Although I regularly shop in the area, I did not see any evidence of this survey being undertaken at any time I was there.
More seriously however, whilst 47 per cent of the people consulted indicated that the current bandstand should be replaced, 53 per cent did not.
In a democratic society, which I believe we still live in, this would represent a vote against change, or am I missing something?
I would urge the council to think again and undertake a proper consultation exercise before removing what I believe to be an attractive asset to the Montague Street shopping precinct – a well-designed, stone built, slate roofed bandstand in favour of a non-descript modernist structure which is unlikely to stand the test of time.
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