Campaign launched to save town’s tourist centre from closure
A campaign has been launched to save a town’s tourist centre from closure as part of cost-cutting measures being considered by the local council.
Plaid Cymru’s Caerphilly Group Leader Lindsay Whittle is launching a campaign to save Caerphilly’s Tourist Information Centre from closure in March and is organising a rally outside Coffi Vista at The Twyn next Saturday (14 January) at 10.30am.
Staff were told an informal decision had been made by council bosses during a meeting with council officials last week, with the closure expected to be confirmed at a meeting later this month.
Councillor Whittle said: “I’m staggered at this decision and the way it has been handled. They tell the staff it is closing and then propose to go through a fake consultation exercise only to confirm the original decision.
“There has been no discussion by the council, no Cabinet report to scrutiny committee and, frankly, it smacks of a Putin-style government. This Labour council is an absolute disgrace.
“The closure of the tourist information centre flies in the face of all the talk about regeneration of the town centre. It has always been a popular meeting point for both local people and visitors to the town with a busy cafe. Closure would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
“It would be a major blow to the town and rip the heart out of Caerphilly. I also feel for the staff who have always put their heart and soul into their work and are always very helpful to visitors to our town.
“Why would you spend £5m on a container market and £40m-plus on a transport interchange while saying they have no money to save this building. We have lost so much in Caerphilly with landmarks like the Armoury, the old cobbler’s cottage and the Clive Hotel over the decades.
“Is there no Labour councillor that values our history? To misquote Oscar Wilde – Labour knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
“Also our community art gallery Y Galeri below and the toilets which are the main one’s in Caerphilly town are scheduled to close. They are vital.”
A spokesman for Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “The council is facing a budget shortfall of around £55 million over the next two years, so it is clear that we will need to make a number of difficult decisions in order to meet this significant financial challenge.
“A list of proposed budget savings will be announced over the coming weeks and these will be subject to a period of public consultation before the 2024/25 budget is agreed at the end of February.
“The council has a duty to protect the public purse and will be looking at a range of savings options, particularly services that are subject to high subsidy, are non-statutory or can be delivered in a different way.
“We would encourage the community to have their say at the appropriate time.”
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