Residents speak out after Cirencester's £30,000 Christmas market chalets "left to rot" in the rain

The Christmas Market chalets being stored at City Bank in Cirencester

The Christmas Market chalets being stored at City Bank in Cirencester

First published in News by

THE top secret location of Cirencester’s illusive Christmas market chalets does not seem to be so secretive after all.

Following a story last week, the Standard has been inundated with letters and calls from people keen to point out that the chalets, which were said to be kept in a safe location, have been left to fester in the heavy rain on land in the City Bank area of Cirencester.

Officials at Cirencester Town Council, including its chief executive and the mayor, said that the location of the wooden structures was being kept secret to keep thieves away.

Mike Simmonds contacted the Standard to say that he had come across the disassembled chalets while out walking his dog.

“They have just been left there, out in the open. There is only a small gate between us and them, anyone could easily go in and steal them,” he said.

Mr Simmonds also criticised the town council for letting “£30,000 of taxpayer’s money rot outside in the rain”.

It also appears that the chalets went on a mysterious holiday last December, having been picked up by an articulated lorry and then returned roughly two weeks later.

This prompted rumours that they were being used as the main attraction in Swindon’s Christmas market.

Andrew Tubb, chief executive of CTC, played down the rumours but remain tight-lipped as to where they went.

He said: “The chalets were recently relocated to City Bank as we look into cost neutral storage options. In the interim, we will be arranging suitable covers to minimise the risk of damage.”

The chalets, which were purchased for around £30,000 in 2010, have been a major talking point among residents in recent years after they were pulled from Cirencester‘s Christmas programme after just two years of use.

Comments (9)

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4:53am Fri 7 Feb 14

zer()cool says...

£30,000 surely they would warrant a metal freight containers, used value for them approx £2000 for two 20ft ones, my god is there no accountability for this outrageous waste of public money, common sense really lacks in Cirencester's Councillors, if it wasn't such a sad affair it would be laughable.
£30,000 surely they would warrant a metal freight containers, used value for them approx £2000 for two 20ft ones, my god is there no accountability for this outrageous waste of public money, common sense really lacks in Cirencester's Councillors, if it wasn't such a sad affair it would be laughable. zer()cool
  • Score: 7

7:59am Fri 7 Feb 14

Tomdog says...

Never mind garden shed £99.99 at B & Q help yourself for free down City Bank. How much did the town council get paid for the hire lets see where the hire fee went pocket or public purse.
Never mind garden shed £99.99 at B & Q help yourself for free down City Bank. How much did the town council get paid for the hire lets see where the hire fee went pocket or public purse. Tomdog
  • Score: 5

4:52pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Col Mustard says...

Have CTC considered siting them around a local lake ? Offering authentic Cotswold Lodge Holiday chalets at popular prices ? Or alternatively apply for a charge against CTC councillors for abuse of public funds , starting with the laughingly called "Chief Exec".......
Have CTC considered siting them around a local lake ? Offering authentic Cotswold Lodge Holiday chalets at popular prices ? Or alternatively apply for a charge against CTC councillors for abuse of public funds , starting with the laughingly called "Chief Exec"....... Col Mustard
  • Score: 7

6:35pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Geoff66 says...

Clearly they don't know what to do with them, and haven't got any ideas about how they might use them. Instead of letting them rot:
1) sell them and recoup some of the money you wasted on buying them in the first place
2) why not install them on some of your allotment sites
3) offer them to Cotswold residents (first come, first served) rather than letting them rot
4) offer them to local charities and voluntary groups, playgroups, etc...
5) install some of them in our parks and gardens as a refuge from the rain !!

Come on time for some action...or are you just going to watch them rot
Clearly they don't know what to do with them, and haven't got any ideas about how they might use them. Instead of letting them rot: 1) sell them and recoup some of the money you wasted on buying them in the first place 2) why not install them on some of your allotment sites 3) offer them to Cotswold residents (first come, first served) rather than letting them rot 4) offer them to local charities and voluntary groups, playgroups, etc... 5) install some of them in our parks and gardens as a refuge from the rain !! Come on time for some action...or are you just going to watch them rot Geoff66
  • Score: 4

12:06am Sat 8 Feb 14

Union Man says...

They could use them as Bus shelters, or make a causeway across the floods, make an Ark maybe?. At least if they are wet the yobs won't be able to burn them
They could use them as Bus shelters, or make a causeway across the floods, make an Ark maybe?. At least if they are wet the yobs won't be able to burn them Union Man
  • Score: 2

10:01am Sat 8 Feb 14

Olly Cromwell says...

Weren't they being stored on the Bathurst estate until recently?
Weren't they being stored on the Bathurst estate until recently? Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 2

10:28pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Huw Parry says...

It's disgusting how the councillors grossly miss appropriate funds again & again and then wriggle and writhe around the truth thinking no one can ever hold them to account.
It's disgusting how the councillors grossly miss appropriate funds again & again and then wriggle and writhe around the truth thinking no one can ever hold them to account. Huw Parry
  • Score: 2

5:06pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Union Man says...

Chill out, its thirty grand from an annual budget of eight hundred thousand a mere drop in the ocean, why it would barely pay for a bust of Mayor Harris for the new revamped market place.
Chill out, its thirty grand from an annual budget of eight hundred thousand a mere drop in the ocean, why it would barely pay for a bust of Mayor Harris for the new revamped market place. Union Man
  • Score: -2

7:49am Wed 12 Feb 14

Bert Wilkins says...

Pretty easy one this.

Along with everything else going wrong in this town, sack Andrew Tubbs.
Pretty easy one this. Along with everything else going wrong in this town, sack Andrew Tubbs. Bert Wilkins
  • Score: 0

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