Petition to save Tourism Centre

Sandy Town Council will be closing the Cambridge Road Tourist Information Centre at the end of January
Sandy Town Council will be closing the Cambridge Road Tourist Information Centre at the end of January

A petition to save Sandy’s Tourist Information Centre has been launched by a local resident.

Marie Stainton says it is vital the centre stays open and believes Sandy Town Council has made the wrong decision in choosing to close the building.

She said: “This council is just dreadful. I just can’t believe it. To close a service just like that without consulting the voters and the tax payers.

“The service the Tourist Information Centre gives is wonderful. I just wonder what the council does with the money we pay in council tax.

“Sandy Tourist Information Centre is a very good facility which should be retained.”

The petition is being sponsored by the Sandy & District Community Volunteer Task Force and is being distributed to all the shops across Sandy for people to sign.

There is also going to be an online petition which will be up and running in the next few days.

However, Sandy Town Council is adamant it is not closing the centre.

Mayor Will Jackson said: “Sandy Town Council is not closing its Tourist Information Centre but is simply integrating it into its offices in Cambridge Road.

“Our ever popular walks and talks will continue, as will a local tourism service.

“One member of staff is taking voluntary redundancy and retiring but has offered still to represent the council voluntarily on external tourism committees, the other member will be integrated into our office staff and will still be able to give expert advice to our customers.

“These changes we hope will come into effect at the end of January.”

This answer does little to satisfy Ms Stainton though.

She said: “There are only two other Tourist Information Centres in Bedfordshire. One in Dunstable and one at Bedford Bus Station.

“The Bedford Tourist Information Centre only sells rail and bus tickets and merchandise.

“Sandy receives many visitors who have come from Bedford.”

She accepts that the budget of the council may be a problem but feels the public should have at least been consulted before any concrete decision was made regarding the Cambridge Road building.