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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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1,000 join campaign to save at risk Whitehaven venues

More than 1,000 people have joined a campaign page in a bid to save three of Copeland’s threatened venues.

Beacon photo
The Beacon, Whitehaven

Related: Copeland council to close Civic Hall, Beacon and public loos to save money

Copeland council has started its consultation into plans to close amenities around Whitehaven – including the Beacon museum, Civic Hall and tourist information – in a bid to save £2.6m from its budget by 2015.

Within hours of the controversial plans being revealed, a campaign page had been set up on social networking site Facebook called ‘Save The Civic – The Beacon & Tourist Info’.

Talks are already underway about starting petitions and lobbying the council to reconsider its proposals.

One of the campaigners, Rachel Denwood, said that she was setting up a petition with Whitehaven Theatre Group to save the venues. She hopes to have a petition is town centre shops as well as the venues themselves.

One member, Cheryl Maudling, said: “Something needs to be done. We can’t just lie down and let this happen. It’s a disgrace – apart from the closures what about all the job losses?

“We cannot let this happen. People of Whitehaven stand up. We need a petition or peaceful protest something constructive.”

Louise Curwen said the proposals were “sickening”. She said: “This town might as well say ‘closed for business till further notice’.

How can we promote Whitehaven as a tourist place and have nothing left of the place?”

And Helen Benson said: “I never thought our council would be so cruel doing this. As if we don’t have little enough in our area to begin with.”

People have been posting memories of the venues – especially the Civic Hall.

Carol Hollins said: “Absolutely gutted to read Copeland are closing the Civic Hall. Are they mad?

“Had some awesome nights out west with friends listening to some awesome bands. Staff were exceptionally helpful and very friendly. If this hall closes it will drive more people out of Whitehaven and it will become a ghost town.”

Barbara Anne Gibson said that she had her wedding reception in the Civic Hall many years ago.

“It would be a sin and a shame to close this or the Beacon and tourist info.”

She added: “Whitehaven is fast becoming a ghost town, a shadow of what it used to be. I hope our voice will be heard, but I don’t hold out much hope.”

The council must save the money after having its budget cut by the coalition government.

It is also proposing to cancel Christmas lights and remove public flower displays. The bowling centre at Cleator Moor could also close as well as people being charged to have their garden waste collected and for doorstep cardboard and recycling collections.

Between 30 and 40 jobs would be lost. Consultation on the proposals began on Friday and runs until December 7. A decision will be made in February.

Have your say

Every one is blaming everyone else, look we all know why this is happening it is this awful governments policies, it seems its always the labour party to blame,they say, well at long last you are correct,
We have just spent 12 Billion pounds on rich peoples fun and Games in London, now that is the labour party's fault, now we as usual we pick up the tab,they are all to blame, i say we want Independence For Cumberland we should Join Scotland and get our own Parliament.

Posted by Danleo on 26 October 2012 at 12:30

I am sorry to see that a number of venues are closing due to lack of funds in Copeland, and I see that many people are angry and raising a petition.Our democracy and sovereign rights are being handed to the EU/Brussels every day yet very few of us pass any comment?If this coalition government, like the previous government would stop sending £55 million a day!!£1.5billion per month!!to this discredited EU club we would not need to close any amenity anywhere.Please ask your MP and councillors why we are continuing to support this empty vessel.

Posted by Michael Owen on 23 October 2012 at 16:33

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