The power of an internet-based campaign! In just four days, the "Save the Forum" Facebook campaign has attracted just short of 2500 members while the editor of the Northern Echo has just tweeted that they have never had so many letters from the public on any issue. He's clearing a whole page in tomorrow's paper. "Extraordinary!" says Peter Barron, the editor.
With a huge town hall rally planned for next Tuesday evening before Cabinet meets, I imagine those responsible for declining a request for an £80,000 loan from the owner of the Forum to enable it to be turned into a community business might be regretting their original decision. Dave Cox isn't asking for a grant; he isn't asking for a loan on the back of which he hopes to make a profit, he's asking for an unsecured loan to enable the business to attract other funding so that it can be turned into a non-profit making social community enterprise.
The tide of opinion is definitely moving in support of the Forum. Will those at the top of the Council realise the extent of anger about this or will they plough on regardless? It would seem the latter. Deputy Council Leader Bill Dixon says it is "simply impossible" for the Council to make an unsecured loan to a loss-making business at a time when local government cuts are taking place.