There is an important distinction between remodelling the interior and demolishing the building. Many people were very angry about plans to demolish the building. These plans never existed but many people seemed to think they did. What did Teignbridge actually plan to do with the building?
Plans have been presented to the council on a number of occasions. Details of the interior have varied, but all have sought to preserve the exterior.
Cllr Gordon Hook (Lib Dem) addressed this issue with a councillor's question which came to Full Council 12 Jan 2023.
Question from Cllr G Hook
Question to the Leader: Can the Leader clarify if there are or indeed ever have been any plans to demolish the Alexandra Cinema?
Response from the Leader: There have never been any plans to demolish the Alexandra Cinema.
There was a verbal follow up to this question, the video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ejs29Yiz4Y&t=10151s
In the video, at 2:49:32 Cllr Hook (Lib Dem) asked "Does the leader feel that those who mislead the public and in so doing denigrate the council should apologise, does he anticipate such an apology."
In the video, at 2:50:10 The leader Cllr Alan Connect (Lib Dem) replies "Thank you chairman, I saw an article in one of the online news media talking about the virtual demolition today. I think there has been a lot of misinformation, I'm grateful to Cllr Gordon Hook for his question, I don't anticipate an apology, but yes I do think they should"
In the video, at 2:50:33 Cllr Mullone (South Devon Alliance) interrupts- "could we have some clarification of what you are talking about" (Readers should know that councillors questions and the answers are circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting) The chair explains to Cllr Mullone what is happening.
In the video, at 2:51:25 Cllr Mullone continues interrupting, "Can I just ask that when members of the ruling executive want to make these statements they actually name who they are talking about so that it's nice and clear for everyone, and not as they do in the news media, use snivelling weasily type expressions so that we all know who we're talking about but they don't quite have the backbone to say it, thank you"
The chair again explains what is happening, and Cllr Mullone states "We have always said demolish the interior"
Teignbridge never had plans to demolish the Alex. Please also note that the Alex Theatre has now been removed completely from the Future High Streets Fund plans.
Cllr Liam Mullone of South Devon Alliance said this in a Teignbridge full council meeting on 12 January 2023. It can be heard in the recording at 2:51:59 https://youtu.be/4ejs29Yiz4Y?t=10319
Cllr Mullone says, "We have always said demolish the interior". This is immediately following the question from Cllr Gordon Hook (Lib Dem) on the same subject.
There was a piece by Geraldine Gaskell Published in Mid Devon Advertiser 1st April 2022.
It states, "What the council will do is drag it's heels and then announce the building is in such poor state they'll apply for a demolition order."
However, Geraldine Gaskell was not at the time a member of NSN or the South Devon Alliance. We should not conflate her erroneous views with those of Cllr Daws or South Devon Alliance.
On 12 Jan the Mid Devon Advertiser published an article about Richard Daws and the Alex.
It states "South Devon Alliance's Richard Daws, one of the few Teignbridge councillors who had objected to the proposed demolition of the grade 2 listed theatre".
And later "After engaging the Theatres Trust earlier in the year to offer its opinions in the plans to demolish the Alex, Cllr Daws was asked along to the Theatres Trust conference."
This may look like evidence that South Devon Alliance did indeed mislead the public on this point, however, the article in the MDA is not signed by Cllr Richard Daws or by anybody at all.
Further investigation reveals that the article was based on a press release from South Devon Alliance circulated by Cllr Richard Daws, shortly before 12 January 2023 when the article appeared in Mid Devon Advertiser. Press releases are not private, they are released to the press with the intention that they will communicate the information onwards. The press release from South Devon Alliance includes verbatim, both the false statements that there were plans to demolish the Alex Theatre.
|Pants on fire:|| |
Yes members of South Devon Alliance did tell the public that Teignbridge planned to demolish the Alex Theatre.