Friday, 22 February 2019

Building handover delayed

PLANS by Watlington Parish Council to take over an uninhabitable building in the town have stalled.

The council agreed in October to become the sole trustee of the Charlotte Coxe Trust, which oversees 33 High Street and the library next door.

Both properties were left to Oxfordshire County Council in 1949 by Charlotte Coxe, who founded the library for the benefit of the people of Watlington.

No 33 has not been occupied since Age Concern moved out in 2009 and needs significant work to make it habitable again.

The parish council agreed last year to instruct its solicitors to ask the county council to proceed with the transfer of the sole trusteeship.

But Councillor Tony Williamson said: “As far as I can understand, our solicitors haven’t succeeded in getting anything out of the county council since November.

“The county council have a problem over the servicing arrangements for the outside of the buildings and also the communal areas.”

The parish council spent more than two-and-a-half years negotiating the transfer of ownership of No 33 which it wants to use to fulfil Mrs Coxe’s wishes.

The Friends of Watlington Library hopes to make use of the building in order to fund the salary of a librarian.

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