Err what's wrong with the existing SOUTHWARK TOWN HALL on Peckham Road with it's fantastic council chamber which can be used shock horror for council meetings. Whatabout the old BERMONDSEY TOWN HALL or maybe even WALWORTH TOWN HALL. Even if Southwark Town Hall is flogged off to the Arts College surely the council could still use/hire the purpose built and fit for purpose (boardroom bingo) council chamber for it's meetings?
And how about the municipal offices there as part of the regeneration? It'd be accessible to all parts of the borough by bus and tube and, with decent planning, scope to include a new council chamber/civic/urban meeting space, offices owned by the council and the public as opposed to just temporarily rented and show commitment to an infrastructure that has previously been disconnected and trivialised. I would like my council to have some robust assets rather than paying to rent in an expensive area with variable costs a temporary space. It is a shame that the previous council offices had to go but I do understand that their setup was not ideal for modern offices (ignoring the leaks). Why not take the opportunity to create a clear identity and a solid base for the borough.
Thanks for the replies. Surely the gloomy chamber could be fixed relatively cheaply with some new lighting. Is the public gallery ever full for council meetings?
I suppose the E&C Town Hall proposed by the Dulwich councillor may not cost the taxpayer any money and if surrounded by shops and cafes it may invite more public to come along, but it's seems such a waste not to use the Southwark Town Hall council chamber.
My initial reaction was similar to the OP's, but it's since been explained that there is a desire for a municipal space at Elephant as part of the regeneration which could be used by Churches, Theatrical and performance art, music and - potentially - also be a suitable assembly chamber. That seems to make some sense. The council doesn't have frequent assemblies, so it makes sense for it to be in a shared space, this would seem like a good opportunity in a relatively convenient place.
And potentially be rented out. It's at a very convenient location for lots of parts of London and might bring in some reasonable revenue.
Having the offices colocated above it would tie together some disparate parts of the structure and associated revenue could be put towards its maintenance. You could also have a better one stop shop there.
I think it's a good idea for the Town Hall to relocate at the Elephant.
Thanks to its large NCP car park, rail station, 2 Tube lines, over 20 bus routes and the fact that all mayor road routes traveling through the borough lead to the Elephant & Castle, it is by far the easiest single location to reach from all the different Southwark wards.