Negotiations about transferring community assets back to Bognor Regis are set to take place.
Adam Cunard (Ind, Hatherleigh) suggested the town council opened dialogue with Arun District Council about taking on, for a nominal fee, the town hall, including the old fire station annexe, Hotham Park and the Sir Richard Hotham portrait.
These discussions would also include transfer of services in the town such as concessions and parking.
He felt more facilities under Bognor Regis Town Council’s direct control would allow it to grow its services and do more for the town.
Cllr Cunard explained: “I think this is a real way to make this council empowered a lot more than it is today.”
Monday’s motion was timed so the proposals could be discussed at next week’s liaison meeting.
He described how they were not committing to anything and were only opening dialogue with Arun.
Alison Sharples (Lab, Marine) raised concerns that if Arun pulled services out of the town hall whether they would be able to afford it but felt the Hotham Park plans had ‘real potential’.
But Matt Stanley (LDem, Marine) questioned the inclusion of the park as he did not see any issues with how it was being run.
He added: “I do not see any advantage in the town council taking over the management of Hotham Park.
He explained, as an Arun cabinet member, that dialogue had already begun about transferring assets to the town council.
Deputy mayor Steve Goodheart (Ind, Hotham) felt facilities in the park could be made much better to create an even more enjoyable destination.
He added: “There are so many things in the park that Arun have not done.”
Meanwhile Inna Erskine (LDem, Pevensey) said their aim should be to maximise opportunities for small businesses and revenue potential for the town as well as minimising risk to the town council’s budget.
She added: “The risks of these decisions need to be measures and quantified at every stage.”