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LIVE : Scarborough Council Vote on Demolishing Futurist

Futurist Sign

1:10pm 9th January 2017
(Updated 4:26pm 9th January 2017)

Live coverage of the full meeting of Scarborough Borough Council where a decision on whether or not to demolish the Futurist Theatre is to be taken.


Patricia David from the Save the Futurist group speaks after the announcement to Jon Burke.




For - 22, Against - 21, Abstention - 1

The motion is carried 


The recorded vote is now underway


Cllr Siddons says he is not interested in a delay in order to allow any group to come up with a plan for revamping the theatre - he says he needs more time to get further information on the plan the council are proposing.


Cllr Mallory says the £4m allocated for the demolition work is not available for revamping the theatre. If today's proposal is not approved the Theatre will be left standing with minimal maintenance. The money will be used for maintaining the building, making it safe and any cliff work required. 


Cllr Mallory is interrupted by a member of the public who is threatened with removal from the chamber.


Cllr Chance says he has "little faith" in the Save the Futurist group being able to find a viable plan. He says councillors must consider the whole borough and not just Scarborough.


Cllr Chance says that the income figures are wildly optimistic.


Cllr David Chance says the Futurist has severe structural limitations stopping it being used as a theatre, he says he has not seen any solid business plan for running as a theatre describing the Save the Futurist figures as "pure guesswork".


Cllr Chatt says he has been swamped by comments from people who say they don't want money to spent on the Futurist


Cllr Chatt says he doesn't know how many people attended the theatre in it's last three years as the data was never made available to councillors.


Cllr Bill Chatt says the last show he attended at the Futurist had nine people in the audience.


Cllr Sam Cross says he feels he doesn't have enough information about what financial return the borough will get from a deal with Flamingoland, he says more detail is needed. He calls for the Save the Futurist group to be given a chance to applause from the public gallery.


Cllr Inman says the focus should be on the council proposal which has been many years in the making and not on last minute plans from the Save the Futurist group.


Cllr Vanda Inman calls for a yes/no decision and not a deferment.


Cllr Jeffels calls for support for the Spa, the Open Air Theatre and the SJT rather than revamping the Futurist as a theatre.


Cllr David Jeffels highlights a number of expert reports that have concluded the theatre is unsustainable as an entertainment venue, saying some of the performances in it's dying days saw audiences of 25-30 people.


Cllr Backhouse "once something has gone it can't be bought back" he says there are other sites that could be developed.


Cllr Andrew Backhouse suggests that spending £4m on the Futurist site would limit the ability to spend on other development opportunities in the borough.


Mrs Lisa Dixon has spoken to confirm that there are no restrictive covenants on the Futurist Deeds.


Cllr Gerald Dennett says the piers in Whitby need £3m to make them safe and protect several hundred properties. He says the council consider the piers a higher risk than the futurist and questions spending £4m on the Futurist site.


Cllr Jefferson calls for a deferment today.


Cllr Janet Jefferson says she believes there was a covenant included in the Futurist's deeds when the council bought it in 1986 which required the council to continue running the venue as a theatre for 80 year. Cllr Jefferson says this needs further investigation.


Cllr Colin Haddington says demolishing the Futurist would be a waste of £4m - he says if the motion is passed then the council needs a new cabinet.


Cllr Murphy calls for at least another three months to get everyone's views.


Cllr Murphy says demand for theatre is increasing, he says the purchase of the mermaid site opens the possibility of improving set access at the site and that bigger theatre shows could be bought in.


Cllr Norman Murphy says there will a loss of culture and heritage if the theatre is pulled down. He claims the council has not properly maintained the building over the last 20 years.


Cllr Bastiman says the council has been discussing the Futurist since 1996


Cllr Bastiman says the process has not been rushed through, he calls for a decision today not a deferment.


Cllr Eric Broadbent says there is no rush to make a decision and that ore time should be taken.


Cllr Vine Cluer calls for today's vote to be a recorded vote. That would mean councillors having to publically declare which way they vote. The call for a recorded vote is supported by sufficient councillors and will go ahead.


Cllr Vine Cluer says there has been insufficient time for her and other councillors to read the vast quantity of information provided last week.


Cllr Dilys Vine Cluer says that councillors received a large volume of documents about the proposal on Wednesday last week, which were difficult to open on a tablet.


Cllr Siddons questions how democratic decisions taken so far have been. Arguing that full council rather than cabinet should be making the decisions and have access to all the facts. He receives a round of applause from the public gallery. 


Cllr Siddons says councillors don't know if there are other viable alternatives for the site or what the dangers might be involved in the  cliff stabilisation work.


Cllr Steve Siddons, leader of the Labour group, expresses disappointment that there has been a lack of detail provided councillors about the proposals and a lack of assurance about the financial return.


The debate is now starting following on from the initial statements.


Cllr Mike Cockerill says safety of adjacent properties has been of prime concern when developing plans for the demolition and stabilisation works


£4m will be needed for the demolition works and the cliff stabilisation work. £2.5m from existing funds. £1.5m would need to be borrowed. Cllr Mallory says that after demolition the land would continue to be owned by the council and any future sale of the land would be at market rates at the time.


Cllr Helen Mallory is talking about some of the financial issues surrounding the proposal. "There is no agreement to sell the site for £600,000" to Flamingoland or anyone else


Talking about the proposal from the Save the Futurist group to have more time to come up with a business plan Cllr Bastiman says he feels 'we have been here before' he says that experts have told him the '11th hour interventions' are without substance and that the theatre continues to be unsustainable.


Cllr Derek Bastiman is opening the discussion


The Futurist discussion is starting now.


The Futurist discussion has been moved up from item 8 to item 6 on the agenda.


Councillors are being reminded to limit any speeches they make to 5 minutes in duration.



The meeting is just starting.


The marchers are on their way....


There's a suggestion that the discussion about the Futurist Theatre might be moved up the agenda this afternoon, it was due to be item 8. We'll let you know if we can confirm that.


Save The Futurist campaigners met at the Railway Station before marching to Scarborough Town Hall.


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