THERE are several false claims circulating around the council's plans for the future of Kendal Town Hall and South Lakeland House, so I'd to use this opportunity to set the record straight.

Some claim this to be a 'vanity project' centred around spending several million pounds on 'luxury council offices'. This is completely untrue.

The plans will actually see the council downsizing and this will allow new local businesses to move into excess space in South Lakeland House.

Energy-efficiency measures will make the building greener and the work will ensure the future public use of the town hall, which otherwise will become increasingly uneconomic to operate.

There is clear demand for space for new business start-ups and this will help ensure the continued vibrancy of Kendal town centre.

Other claims suggest that these changes will result in a significant cost to the taxpayer. The truth is quite the opposite. The initial investment will be more than repaid through rental income and reduced maintenance costs. Total savings for council tax payers will be around half a million pounds in the first ten years.

In addition to these benefits, moving the main reception areas for the public to the front of the town hall will make visiting the council much easier, it will improve disabled access and will put the council at the heart of the high street, rather than being tucked away down a narrow yard.

So, these plans will actually be a win-win for everyone.

Cllr Jonathan Brook

Deputy leader of South Lakeland District Council