The Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Paul Spooner says the Council will return Burchatt’s Farm to public use. I am absolutely delighted. We must all put aside differences and sort this out.
But it is not just Burchatts Farm. Over the last four years I have been involved with Guildford Museum, West Lodge, Wanborough Barn and the Chantries Campsite.
The common link appears to be that they all come under the Asset Management Department. It has an important job managing a multi-million pound property portfolio and obviously does not want to care for a few community and heritage assets that are not of great financial value.
We must help it out. I propose the following and will be contacting Councillor Spooner and other interest parties to take matter forward
- We need a strategy that recognises sites of cultural and historic value
- Such sites should be ring fenced and protected from disposal and we should apply for ACV status (where it does not exist)
- Priority should be given to managing these sites in a way that maximises their community value whilst making them as financially viable as possible
- Interested parties on the Council and across the public arena must share their expertise and work together
Guildford Museum is a spectacular example of how the Council can turn things around. Wanborough Barn is being managed sensibly. We can do it if we work together.