TOWN leaders have voted not to go back on a unanimous decision not to take over the lease of Cheadle's council offices.
During a full council meeting on Monday, September 16, at the council offices in Leek Road, members were asked to vote whether they were for or against rescinding a decision not to take over the lease of the building from its owners Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC), which had been unanimously agreed upon during an extraordinary meeting held on May 9.
During the named vote on Monday, eight councillors voted to rescind the decision, but 10 voted against the proposal.
Following the vote councillor Ian Whitehouse said: "It is a very sad night for Cheadle indeed.
"I hope all the councillors who voted to have this building knocked down come back in 18 months time and say they voted for it; it is a travesty for Cheadle."
However, councillor Ron Locker said: "I'm pleased that common sense has prevailed.
"This building is still here and I hope the district council use it in the proper manner , there's an opportunity to do something with this building.
"Cheadle can be proud and I am proud of those who voted against this, it has taken off a lot of worry from people.
"The town council could not possibly afford to take this on, it is not fit for community purpose."
Councillor Alan Banks added: "It's no use pretending it's still open and won't be knocked down and this won't become a housing estate, they've already got planning permission for the other half of the site.
"The original idea was to knock it down and all of us worked together very hard to stop it.
"Everyone was behind it and worked together to get this building saved, all of a sudden there's been a complete u-turn and we've dealt the district council with a forgone conclusion."
In a statement released following the meeting by the Moorlands Democratic Alliance (MDA) it states: "Over the last months the town council, led by the MDA, have been working to secure the council offices in Leek Road, currently owned by SMDC for our town.
"Having worked tirelessly on a lease with the SMDC an acceptable agreement was reached.
"However, alongside that work, town councillors have been working to establish what income could be generated to support the project.
"This included hire of the building for events, retail and office lets and many more streams of income.
"Alongside that of course there would be a cost to putting the building into a usable condition for these various activities.
"Unfortunately, despite a successful open day to attract users of the building, we do not believe we can generate sufficient income to meet the capital expenditure needed to support the project, or the ongoing running costs, without resorting to town council funds, which ultimately means a significant increase in council tax.
"Therefore and with regret, the council had previously voted unanimously not to proceed with the lease and at Monday night's town council meeting most of the Moorlands Democratic Alliance councillors, alongside some independent councillors, ratified their decision not to re-visit this project."