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To: Cambridgeshire County Council

Don't Lease Shire Hall - Keep Council-Run for Social Good

Don't Lease Shire Hall - Keep Council-Run for Social Good

Stop process of leasing all or any part of the Shire Hall estate including all buildings, exterior areas and Castle Mound. Keep whole estate Council-owned and Council-run for the benefit of the public.

- Retain Shire Hall as seat of local government for public County Council meetings
- Retain registry office and other services here
- Preserve architecture of all 5 buildings on the site: Shire Hall, The Octagon, Castle Lodge, The Old Police Station and 42 Castle Street
- Allow registration as a Town Green of Castle Mound, the grassed forecourt and car park to guarantee unrestricted public access, free of charge in perpetuity
- Use surplus room for affordable council or local-run small businesses and activities: education, history, arts, fine art, design, music, dancing, festivals and exhibitions as requested by the people of Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough

Why is this important?

More than 3,000 people from Cambridgeshire signed the first petition calling to keep the site in Council ownership. Now the County Council leadership have opted for a 40 year lease to Brookgate - who have demolished other historical and beautiful Cambridge buildings.

During this time, untold changes and destruction could be caused to Shire Hall and other areas of the estate. Brookgate will profit from what should be a public amenity. Would it ever return to Council use?

Brookgate has sufficient wealth to challenge the covenant that is in place and potentially charge for access to Castle Mound or deny it altogether should they wish to. Non- listed buildings on the site including Shire Hall could be destroyed or significantly altered ruining their architecture.

The whole Shire Hall site has great historical significance. This was the seat of government since the Middle Ages when Cambridge Castle was built soon after Norman invasion of 1066.

The site has been loved and used continuously by the public. Shire Hall, a beautiful 1930s building is needed as a place of democratic governance, arts and community.

The land is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council however Councillors are elected to uphold the best interests and wishes of the people they represent.

Insisting on our rights for this site will be an emblematic move toward the sort of society we want.

As a public treasure this could benefit society now and for the future. Are we willing to relinquish it?

Please sign, share and comment asking others to do the same. We need people to know about this and to show the Country Council that we oppose sale or leasing of the entire site. Feel free to suggest uses of spare space in buildings on the estate or approve other suggestions made.

Please also send us statements, photos and videos of time spent at Castle Mound over the last 20 years. Post on social media or email them. They are needed as evidence for the Town Green application. Email them to Twitter @CastleMound or the Facebook page below.

Reasons for signing

  • I regularly climbed Castle Mound as a child in the 1950s. You cannot get a better view of Cambridge.
  • At the very least, the Council need to make a public commitment to fighting any attempt by these developers to remove or restrict free access.
  • We need to retain a seat of local government that can be accessed by Cambridge citizens. We need to retain this fine public building and the surrounding land for the benefit of local people not for the benefit of a property developer who puts profit ahead of the public good.


2019-05-29 08:41:47 +0100

500 signatures reached

2019-05-27 13:59:42 +0100

100 signatures reached

2019-05-25 17:37:56 +0100

50 signatures reached

2019-05-23 19:00:07 +0100

25 signatures reached

2019-05-23 12:22:39 +0100

10 signatures reached