THERE are currently no plans to ‘splash a load of cash’ on a modern facility for council meetings, the leader has confirmed.

New council offices will open next year as part of the £142.5 million Time Square development in the town centre.

The authority says the Grade I listed Town Hall will have a future after the offices open, with the authority planning to retain ownership and occupation of the site.

But during last week’s leader’s forum, leader Cllr Russ Bowden was asked whether an ‘up to date, modern setting’, where meetings could be webcast, could be provided.

Cllr Bowden (LAB – Birchwood) said: “In terms of what the alternatives are, I am not sure we have a great number coming forward.

“I also can’t really sit here and talk about austerity and then say we are going to splash a load of cash on creating something new for council meetings.

“I think when we recognise there is significant public interest then we have moved events – big planning applications, for example, have gone to the Parr Hall before.

“I think we need to be more open to that as a way of doing stuff.

“I think we can do more around technology, doing stuff on the website for example – the council actually providing that feed for residents through the website is something we can look at.

“But, I think, physical location is probably a way off yet.”

Bank Hall, which was designed by architect James Gibbs, was built in 1750 as a home for businessman Thomas Patten.

But in 1873 the owner, Colonel Wilson Patten, later Lord Winmarleigh, sold the building to the council and it became Warrington Town Hall.