The Monitoring Officer had received a request for an Extraordinary Meeting, seeking a discussion with regard to the demolition and relocation of Middlesbrough Bus Station.
In accordance with paragraph 7 (a) iv) of the Council Procedure Rules, an Extraordinary Council Meeting had been called. The Chair invited Councillor C Hobson to speak on behalf of the signatories in support of the request to call an Extraordinary meeting of the Council.
Councillor Hobson advised that the Bus Station, located in the Town Centre, had opened in 1982 at a cost of £5.3m. In July 2012, it underwent improvement works, at accost of £1.5m. The work was undertaken to improve the accessibility for disabled people by creating low floor access at the majority of stops as well as reconstruction of the concourse and part reconstruction of the ramps.
Since 2012, various other works had been carried out which included:
Refurbishment of the Express lounge at a cost of £25,307
Toilet refurbishment and redesign to a modern standard and to reduce significant anti-social behaviour problems at a cost of £95k
Toilet turnstile and change machines installed at a cost of £26k
LCD main lighting scheme at a cost of £62,212.50
Total cost of works to security door system at a cost of £272,897
Councillor Hobson stated that after all this work to the Bus Station, the Council was intending to demolish it to accommodate a Media Village. Councillor Hobson suggested that the Media Village could be built at an alternative location such as the Boho site.
The Bus Station had been awarded two certificates in the previous two years; one for best Bus Station in the North East and one for the safest Bus Station. Councillor Hobson commented that the Mayor had announced today, that the Bus Station would remain on the same site and she queried why the Bus Station would need to be demolished.
Councillor Hobson stated that residents and business owner should be taken into consideration as many of the shops in the Bus Station were doing well and the Bus Station attracted 37,000 users per day.
Councillor Hobson stated that she would now open the issue up for debate.
The Mayor stated that Councillor Hobson had already mentioned one of the issues that he had intended to mention and that was that there was no intention, and never had been any intention, to move the Bus Station many miles away.
In discussions about the Teesside Media and Innovation Village (TMIV), it had always been clear that the Bus Station would form part of the development. The only site under discussion in relation to the Bus Station was the existing site.
The refurbished Bus Station was opened in 2012 and it was no longer a modern design. The Council needed to be ambitious. The TMIV would provide several opportunities including jobs, education, leisure, culture and a new Bus Station.
The Mayor stated that a great deal of work needed to be done in relation to improvements to public transport in respect of routes, timing and facilities. He stated that the problem with public transport was not just about a Bus Station or a Railway Station, it was about the co-ordination of buses and rail, modern facilities, modern buses and modern rail.
The Mayor stated that he wished to make it clear, the Council would not be moving the Bus Station out of the City Centre. The new Bus Station would take up less room than the current one and would be located on the same site.
It was Moved, Seconded and ORDERED that the meeting proceed to next business.
The Chair announced that as there was no further business, the meeting was closed.