WHITCHURCH Town Council has vowed to 'confront' Shropshire Council over the state of the town's civic hall before agreeing to take on the building.

The town council is planning to take over the freehold of the building, but the long-running saga is continuing to roll on amid concerns over the condition of the property.

Shropshire Council has offered £5,000 to cover the costs of any repair work – but at a meeting of the full council on Thursday town councillors expressed concerns that the sum would not be sufficient to cover the cost of repair.

Gillian Bailey, locum clerk, updated councillors on the current freehold situation during the online meeting.

"There were negotiations with Shropshire Council regarding the work that needs doing to the building and the liability for that work," said Ms Bailey. "Shropshire Council has made an offer of £5,000 to those costs.

"The other outstanding item is the stopping-up order at the front of the building.

"I've managed to get a response from Highways and he said he would come back to me but I'm guessing that process has not begun.

"The stopping-up order will resolve half the parking spaces out the front being on the highway.

"To progress that it will need some legal work doing, whether you are happy to accept the £5,000 and whether you are happy to precede without the stopping-up order."

Councillor Andy Hall aired his concerns over the wording of agreement, which he believed showed the building should be handed over with any repair work already completed.

"The lease states the building would be handed over in a fit state of repair," said Cllr Hall. "Clearly the building is not in a fit state of repair and Shropshire Council should honour that.

"It's been going on for as long as I can remember but we need to dot the I's and cross the T's before we proceed."

Cllr John Martin suggested taking a stern approach to Shropshire Council, saying the town council should ask 'politely but forcibly' to make the repairs.

"Cllr Hall pointing out what is wrong with the building is correct," said Cllr Martin. "We should point out bluntly to Shropshire Council what the issues are.

"Shropshire Council should face up to the responsibilities and stop trying to palm us off with 5,000 quid.

"We should confront Shropshire Council and ask them as politely and forcibly."

Cllr Will McDonnell backed up Cllr Martin's proposal, saying that the town council should get quotes to fix the building and forward them to Shropshire Council.

"We've got quotes and that's in our armoury when dealing with Shropshire Council," he said. "Then we can say these are the costs, pay it and well do it."

Councillors then voted in favour of the proposal.

Shropshire Council has been approached for comment.