I ATTENDED the Salisbury City Council Services Committee meeting where the closure of Salisbury Information Office on its current site was agreed. This was the first time the general public had been able to witness this action as apparently the real decision had been made at a previous meeting which was closed to the public.

In the current 'Post-Skripal' regeneration period it seems more than strange to relocate a centrally- positioned, award-winning professionally-staffed information centre to join with the Shopmobility Centre on the edge of The Maltings creating something called 'The Hub'.

There was no mention in the Report (upon which the decision was based) of consultation with interested parties - businesses, accommodation providers, BID or Tourist Organisations. Tourism generates a lot of income for the City and SIC is an important factor in presenting a welcoming face to visitors.

We were told that a meet-and-greet facility would be available at the front of The Guildhall for, I seem to remember, six days a week. This compares poorly with the current open-seven-days and disability-accessible centre. The one saving grace came from the chairman who said that if the re-location didn't work well for tourism in Salisbury they would think again. This idea was generated, I feel, by the fact that when (if) The Maltings redevelopment comes about The Hub will disappear from its present site. And the £35,000 - minimum - cost of the relocation process will have been wasted, as will the cost of the recent re-modelling of SIC.

I believe the relocation will be detrimental to tourism, harmful to Salisbury's recovery in the years to come and have a detrimental impact on the hard-working staff of Salisbury Information Centre. I fear moving to such an out of the way site which is not on the 'Tourist Walk' and not easily found by visitors could sound the death knell for SIC.

I wanted to write a short letter. This decision has made me write much more!

John Cutland

23 Saddlers Mead