Former councillor claims Grantham Museum is being used for political purposes

Grantham Museum. ENGEMN00120140129113847
Grantham Museum. ENGEMN00120140129113847
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Former district councillor Mike Taylor suggested Grantham Museum is being used for political purposes by the Conservative Party.

Mr Taylor was speaking as a member of the public at yesterday’s meeting of the full South Kesteven District Council. During the public open forum he asked council leader Bob Adams if rules were being broken because he believed the management of the museum, Grantham Community Heritage Association, an educational charity, should not be politicising the running of the museum.

Mr Adams confirmed the freehold of the building was owned by the district council and run by the charity. He said any questions over the charity’s objectives should be directed to the Charity Commission and added that the building was not being used contrary to the terms of the lease.

But Mr Taylor, a former Conservative councillor and now a member of UKIP, claimed the management was in breach of the lease by sub-letting space to Grantham MP Nick Boles and allowing it to be used for meetings by the Grantham West Conservative branch and for regular fish and chip supper meetings held by Mr Boles.

He said the management was “clearly treating council rules appertaining to the lease of council premises with complete disdain.”

Coun Adams said: “If the MP were a Labour member, or a UKIP member, or a LibDem member, that facility would be equally accorded to them on the payment of rent.”

He said the fish and chip suppers were not political events as they were open to all members of the public and not exclusively to members of the Conservative Party. He added that the management’s actions were “all above aboard and as transparent as could be.”

After the meeting Mr Taylor told the Journal he was “quite perplexed” by the response to his questions. He said he would be contacting the Charity Commission. He said: “It is all wrong”.