Here’s why we are ‘deeply concerned and find it highly questionable’ to read of sale of Wisbech court house
We are deeply concerned and find it highly questionable to read about the sudden sell off of Wisbech Court House. This has been dealt with by smoke and mirrors from the outset.
Whilst this was ‘owned’ by the Ministry of Justice - on behalf of us all - why has it been secretly and hurriedly sold in a matter of weeks just before the auction? It was announced in the House of Commons last Week - even to the surprise and without consultation with our MP, Steve Barclay.
Wisbech Court House was closed against the strong arguments and advice of the local magistrates and our MP. It’s closure was approved by the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the MoJ, Jonathan Djanogly, MP for Huntindgon whom we note didn’t close his own court house. Wisbech had just won an award following refurbishment of its cells.
This is a very prestigious site in Wisbech, covering a large area of land and was supposed to be part of the Nene Waterfront Regeneration.
It was our understanding that whilst the police station forms an annex to the court house, the police were reviewing their current needs, their decision on whether to move to the fire station was still being considered.
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FDC kept their negotiations with the MoJ secret despite repeated requests for information, preventing the people of Wisbech discussing the future of the building and finding alternative opportunities. When they were making their now failed secret negotiations, the Council didn’t advise us what their discussions were about and what their intentions were for the land and building.
Again, like the Hudson, just a few FDC Cabinet councillors and officers knew what it was about.
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So we must ask and have answers: why the sudden and secret sale at £150,00 which was the auction starting price that became the selling price. Best value? Ridiculous.
MICHAEL and VIRGINIA BUCKNOR
(Fenland Council and Wisbech town councillors)