DEAR councillor Cornell, the Sub Rooms.

I am writing to you in your capacity as chairman of the district council task and finish group addressing the future of the Subscription Rooms.

Like many residents, I have been shocked to hear the leaked news that your group favours the bid from Ecotricity over the other two options of either a sale to the Trust or retention of the Sub Rooms in SDC ownership.

I would be grateful if you could explain, why SDC did not include the option of itself setting up a trust to run the Sub Rooms, a course being followed by many councils faced with the challenge of revenue-funding for discretionary culture and leisure services.

I appreciate that the terms of the T&F group were set by the strategy and resources committee but you must have discussed this option within your group over the months since January.

Many people share my dismay that your group appears to have made up its mind without any input from the public.

A consultation event on November 18, has all the appearances of being a token exercise.

Why has there been so little transparency in your decision-making?

Your group’s assessment criteria, weighting and scoring and indeed the bids themselves, could all have been made public so as to allow a democratic debate to take place.

The process looks like a travesty of a genuine public consultation.

There has been a lamentable lack of clarity about the terms of your options exercise.

Is the asking price of £600,000, referred to in the sale particulars issued as part of option 3, applicable to the two bids you have received from outside bodies?

Has the principle of a sale for a nominal sum, or indeed of an endowment from SDC, been specifically excluded from your plans for the building?

If so, it has skewed the options appraisal towards the cash-rich private sector in a way I find surprising for a Labour-led authority which prides itself on community values.

I remain concerned (my previous letter to you dated August 10) that SDC included the town square in front of the Sub Rooms in the sale particulars prepared by Bruton Knowles.

Please confirm whether the square would be included in any sale to Ecotricity.

I believe S&R gave no remit for such a sale.

David Lambert

Stroud C

c Cllrs Skeena Rathor, Steve Lydon, Martin Whiteside, Ken Tucker, Nigel Cooper, David Drew MP.