A demonstration was held outside the city hall in which Salisbury residents demanded that the doors be reopened as soon as possible.
The event on Saturday, July 29 was led and organised by city councillor Paul Sample and former city councillor Frogg Moody, with an appearance from city councillor Ricky Rogers.
Cllr Sample said: “The city hall means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.”
As the first to speak, Frogg gave an overview of the history of the city hall, which has featured bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, The Kinks, The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and Salisbury’s own Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch, known for their 1966 hit single Hold Tight!
Frogg said: “We can’t afford to lose Salisbury City Hall. It still remains one of the biggest venues in Wiltshire, let alone Salisbury. So we need to get it open and we need to get it open sooner rather than later.
“The message to Wiltshire Council is get this hall open, spend the money, get the hall open and start getting decent acts back to Salisbury.”
Ricky said the city hall is an important public service that belongs to the people of Salisbury.
He said: “I just want to explain this myth that this place doesn’t make money. It never has. It was never meant to. For me, it’s a public service, just like the library, just like the swimming pool. It’s a community public service run by the council tax that we all pay into the city council and to Wiltshire Council.”
Ricky explained that those calling for City Hall to be reopened now are not asking for safety to be disregarded.
He said: “I think keep it open and open it now, people interpret that we want it open tomorrow. Well, we could have part of the City Hall open. If there’s a real issue with live bands and the acoustic ceiling, then you could limit the use.”
Fiona Hulbert of the Salisbury Green Party, armed with a placard that read “Re-open City Hall Now!” on one side and “What happened to all that NHS money?” said the Salisbury Green Party was “100 per cent behind” the campaign to reopen the City Hall.
Fiona said: “As has been said, we know the building needs some work done before we can actually reopen it, but the NHS paid a large sum of money to use this building as a vaccination centre, and where has it gone? It’s just gone into Wiltshire Council funds, generally, but it ought to come back here to be spent on the building that they used and get it back to the people of Salisbury.”
Source: Salisbury Journal