COUNCIL bosses have described a public exhibition into plans for a new headquarters as ‘worthwhile’ – despite a protest taking place before it began.
Warwick District Council invited people to find out more about its plans for a new HQ on the site of Covent Garden car park, which would then be rebuilt.
The former council offices at Riverside House on Milverton Hill would then be turned into flats.
Council leader Andrew Mobbs said hundreds of people visited the exhibition.
The exhibition was due to begin with a press briefing, but protesters arrived and demanded answers.
Coun Mobbs said: “It was unfortunate the first hour was dominated by a protest which did not encourage meaningful dialogue but what followed was a series of one to one debates, with questions asked, issues raised and a genuine dialogue between officers, councillors and the public.
“We achieved our purpose as part of our ongoing consultation process in that many shoppers and passers-by were able to gain the true facts behind this project. The opportunity to dispel some of the myths was encouraging.
“I take on board that we need to ensure that we communicate the facts to local people and businesses, so that such misinformation does not cause distress and misunderstandings in the future.
“I recognise that genuine concerns have been raised and I am also grateful for the many positive comments received. This feedback will give us a clear focus and it is my intention that we continue to communicate to all in the district.”
The councillor said the comments received at the exhibition will be published in full on the district council’s website along with the council’s responses.
He added: “May I thank all those who attended and acted with courtesy and good grace in our discussions. I found the experience extremely worthwhile.”