Wednesday, 31 August 2011

More on the Save Aston Manor Transport Museum.

Paul Hickman the Birmingham Organiser has been busy finding more out about the Museum, this is what he had to say.

As reported in the Birmingham Post (25th August 2011) City finance chief Coun Randal Brew said that the council had subsidised the museum to the tune of £650,000 over the last 15 years.

Museum supporters said it had not cost the council anything, but has been using the Victorian tram depot rent free. The sum was a paper transfer from one council department, the museum service, to another, the property division.

I spoke to the financial director of the Museum Richard Gray who explained the situation. He said they had an independent valuation of the building which was 325,000 freehold. The Museum offered 350,000 but the Council refused and said it's worth 900,000.

The council has said that back rent is owed yet legal advice obtained by MR Gray said no such back rent was owed (they have never paid rent but kept the building going via donations and volunteers).

Then the council offered a 99 year lease at 350,000 plus a commercial rent of 42,000 per year plus 60,000 back rent - the museum couldn't afford this and know it's unfair.

MR Gray also told me the Councillors had said there are 'several business interested in the site' , one of which is a company which would like to convert the building into a Asian banquting suite. Councillor Randal Brew (Northfield Conservative) had been supportive in the early stages but has since abandoned the Museum and the directors efforts to save it.

MR Gray informed me they have now been offered till the end of the year to vacate - if they accept that, no back rent will be owed.

MR Gray sounds tired and worn down by the scum bag councillors and said "I can't do this on my own".

He said one possibility was to sell some of the items they have in the museum and find a different premises, however this would not be the same because the current museum site and adjacent building (a car spares outlet)have the original tram tracks running through them.

He mentioned a deadline of October the 16th 2011 as they have not accepted the vacate by the end of the year offer. He said they may have to give up before then, otherwise the council may send people to take the buses/trams away as scrap!

A online petition has been made with a target of five thousand signatures and residents of Councillor Randal Brews ward will be informed about his attitude towards Birmingham's heritage via British National Party leaflets.

The online petition can be signed here

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