t was made public in the papers presented to the Mole Valley District Council’s Scrutiny Committee on 24 January 2023 that the LibDem Administration plans to spend £ 8-11 Million on Dorking Halls.
The money is to be used to cover works such as strengthening the roof so it can support solar panels and internal refurbishments with over a £1 million goings to consultants.
This is one of several Dorking capital projects in the 2023-24 budget, which it is planned to partly pay for by selling property assets, information on which has been released to Councillors but has yet to be made public.
The Ashtead Independent Group has been pressing for the introduction of tighter regulations for the disposal of Council assets, as these are part of the residents’ heritage. In our view, any development of Dorking Halls should involve expansion to accommodate Council meeting rooms and staff offices so that the outdated and inconvenient current Pippbook Offices could be sold!
Your Ashtead Independent Councillors see much of the expenditure in Dorking as vanity projects which result in little in the way of new facilities. This expenditure contrasts with the modest amounts Ashtead needs to maintain the village Pond where even the relatively insignificant amount required to complete silt removal has still not been confirmed.