Standing room only at meeting over Ramsey courthouse sale

By by Sue Woolley newsdesk@newsiom.co.im facebook.com.iomnewspapers in North

The strength of feeling in the north over the proposed sale of Ramsey Courthouse was demonstrated on Friday night when around 200 people attended a requisition meeting held at the Grammar School.

It was standing room only in the packed hall where a panel comprising commissioners’ chairman Andrew Cowie, Ramsey MHKs Alex Allinson and Lawrie Hooper, Garff MHKs Martyn Perkins and Daphne Caine and Ayre MHK Tim Baker faced a barrage of questions.

The meeting, which lasted just under two hours, was chaired by Edgar Cowin CP of Ballaugh.

Speaker after speaker from the floor expressed their surprise, amazement and even disgust that the complex, which includes the war memorial, should have been placed on the open marke by the Department of Home Affairs. Many expressed fears that it was already a ’done deal’ and that no matter what the weight of public opinion, it would go to the highest bidder.

All members of the panel said how passionately they felt about the issue and pledged to do their utmost to ensure that the building and grounds should be retained in public ownership.

Dr Allinson, a member of the Department of Home Affairs, said: ’To privatise it is inconceivable. To sell it off would set a very bad precedent. For many, the land on which the war memorial stands is sacred ground.’

He praised campaigner Jacqui Kneen for all she had done to mobilise the public.

Lawrie Hooper said the commissioners were doing a fantastic job in trying to retain the building. He reminded people that more than £1.3mof taxpayers’ money had been spent on regenerating the area, which the majority of people considered to be ’the heart of Ramsey’.

Daphne Caine said: ’I don’t want to be part of an administration that knows the price of everything and the value of none.’

Martyn Perkins felt the Courthouse could be for Ramsey what the Workingmen’s Institute was to Laxey - a cultural hub.

Tim Baker was optimistic that given its iconic status and the special social considerations, the department could be persuaded to reconsider and the building would be retained for the town.

Thirteen questions about the fate of the Courthouse have been tabled for Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Keys, and the commissioners have created an online petition.

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RichEader · 96 days ago · Report

"The building is nothing more than an ugly structure that housed a courthouse, and a police station along with cells." Precisely CV; the heart of Ramsey!

Fell · 97 days ago · Report

By all means put in a hard cash bid for the building as long as the 97.3% of Ramsey residents who did not attend the meeting agree to approximately £450,000 of their ratepayers money being used on this not other uses.

ET · 97 days ago · Report

Ramsey commissioners continue to play politics instead of getting on with the administration of their town which frankly is in need of some care & attention and a little less flag waving nostalgic nonsense, seized upon by a local MHK on a personal mission to legalise pot and stir a bit of support on the way. What a place. It's becoming a total embarrassment which is somewhat unfair to the several thousand residents who didn't attend the meeting..

Modern Democracy · 97 days ago · Report

What happens when Mr Quayle & his gang have sold everything - is there a big shareout?

Manx born (formerl CV) · 97 days ago · Report

Dr Allison, your talk of precedent and sacred ground is as much hogwash as your desire to legalise cannabis. The building is nothing more than an ugly structure that housed a courthouse, and a police station along with cells. Just get on with it and sell it for cash to the highest bidder

JurbyTed · 97 days ago · Report

How dare you suggest they sell it!!!

PHIL T · 97 days ago · Report

Sell it to the private sector!!

PHIL T · 97 days ago · Report

Sell it to the private sector!!

Post Truth Correctional Officier · 97 days ago · Report

The Department of Home Affairs should sell it to the highest bidder. They already have white elephants with the closed Lord Street Police Station and the failed Port Erin Police Station. Both specifically built and costing many millions!

Spook · 97 days ago · Report

So the Commissioners just need to put in a bid etc. And where do they get the money from other than from tax payers. Just flog the thing on the open market and get some much needed cash in.

Manx Pleb · 97 days ago · Report

I'm a Ramsey ratepayer and have no wish to see the Town rates saddled with a great white albatross. Save the cenotaph and let it go. RTC don't seem to be able to look after the duties they've got, every nook and crack in Parliament St and elsewhere is full of weeds, and dog dirt is everywhere. Direct the money and effort towards these matters please.

Treasury Tag · 97 days ago · Report

Could this place be turned into a Post Office? Might be a good idea.

pper · 97 days ago · Report

@karen, I am from ramsey and it doesn't matter to me. What makes you think for a second that your voice represents anybody other than yourself.

pper · 97 days ago · Report

If RTC have enough money to waste on a building that they have no use for then i think its about time the Ramsey rate payers got a reduction. They haven't a clue why they want it or what will be done with it or how they will fund its upkeep. Also 200 is a small number and from what i hear it wasn't even that.

Sir Nigel Farage · 97 days ago · Report

@Karen, @Karen, Karen. Oh dear. Where to begin! "we have lost enough here in the north", really? Do you care to elaborate?

Karen · 97 days ago · Report

It matters to the people of Ramsey, we have lost enough here in the north. On Mr Malarkey's Facebook page he has a banner saying "community " when he was fighting for a local pub, well Ramsey people also have a sense of community, also it is very disrespectful to our war dead to sell off the area around the Cenetaph. Private developers are the scourge on our island, only interested in lining their own pockets, no thought for heritage properties for generations to come.

Sir Nigel Farage · 97 days ago · Report

Well said, Fell! I really have no idea why RTC are so desperate to spend cash of their hard-pressed ratepayers to buy a building from the Island's hard-pressed taxpayers, when they have no idea what they would even do with it!! Just let it go to a private developer!!

Fell · 97 days ago · Report

All the Commissioners have to do is put in a competitive market value based ccash bid to buy the place from IOM taxpayers. They then need to generate the income to maintain it. To slightly modify Ms Caine's words we don't want a situation "where people want everything but don't want to pay anything".

Fell · 97 days ago · Report

All the Commissioners have to do is put in a competitive market value based ccash bid to buy the place from IOM taxpayers. They then need to generate the income to maintain it. To slightly modify Ms Caine's words we don't want a situation "where people want everything but don't want to pay anything".

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