Council in Disarray Over Town Hall

I was contacted yesterday by the local paper asking about the future of Aberystwyth Town Hall in Morfa Mawr/Queens Road. The County Council seem in disarray about the building’s future. The Finance Department staff currently housed there amongst others are due to move to the new council offices at Parc y Llyn on Friday week, leaving the building almost empty. At one time there was an intention to move the town library there. Now there’s a funding problem with this and in the short term the building is to be ‘mothballed’, i.e. closed but maintained in good order until someone comes up with an idea. The Town Council, which occupies two small rooms there, have been told they will have to move out and have been half-promised another central location (at least they won’t be moving out of town).

Looking down Portland Street towards the Town Hall (above) it seems almost unthinkable that the building should simply be abandoned. It’s not as grand as the original, which was burnt down on 8th September 1957, but the building and it’s position at the junction of two roads has an imposing look about it that dignifies the town.

I've got mixed feelings about the new County Council Offices at Parc y Llyn. I hear the criticism about extravagance in difficult economic times but I can also understand the case for a new building meeting modern standards in one place rather than the patchwork of old buildings dotted all over town that council workers are currently housed in.

But it’s absolutely essential that the County Council maintain a presence within the town centre for the many people who need to make payments or enquiries etc whilst doing their shopping or in their lunch hour. It's just not good enough that these people should all have to trek a mile out to Parc y Llyn. With the Town Hall set to empty, those people are entitled to ask why it can't be kept open as an easy town centre access point to Council services.