Historic moment at Midhurst Town Council

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THERE was an historic moment at Midhust Town Council when chairman John Etherington and senior councillor Colin Hughes signed the lease to take over the former library building on Knockhundred Row.

The town council has agreed a lease with West Sussex County Council which means it will rent the building for three to four years and then hopes to buy it.

The building will be home to the town council offices and means it will have its own meeting place.

It will also provide space for voluntary groups and the rural town manager.

The first user will be the MADhurst group which will open the box office for this year’s nine-day festival in the former library building next Thursday, July 31.

Gordon McAra told fellow councillors: “What we have here tonight is an historic occasion for the town council as it signs the lease to have our own premises without the constraints and problems we have at Capron House.”

John Quilter told the meeting the lease had been drawn up fully in accordance with the town council’s wishes. He said the council was doing something it should be proud of: “We are preserving the history of the past 400 years. This building would otherwise very likely have become another closed private house in Midhurst.”

But Colin Hughes warned: “We all have to be aware this is a big step change which involves rolling up your sleeves and taking part. There is a lot of work to do and we all need to be aware of the commitment.”

Mr McAra said: “It’s a new future for the town council and sometimes big steps are scary.”