A Suffolk MP has accused a town's mayor of making "snidey remarks" over an art club's relocation and has called on him to reveal when repairs to the club's home will be completed.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey was responding to Woodbridge mayor Eamonn O'Nolan's comments in the EADT earlier this week concerning Woodbridge Art Club, which has moved to different venues as its lease on the Tide Mill Way building is set to expire on March 31.

The club had been told it would not be able to return as the primary leaseholder as it is a limited company and the town council wanted the venue to be shared with local charities and community organisations.

READ MORE: Woodbridge Art Club is set to leave its Tide Mill Way home

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey called for a timescale to be revealed for repairs to the art club's home in Tide Mill WaySuffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey called for a timescale to be revealed for repairs to the art club's home in Tide Mill Way (Image: Archant)

However, the club was hopeful it would be able to hire its former home once repairs had been carried out to a leaking roof.

Dr Coffey had called on Facebook for the club to stay at its Tide Mill Way premises until a timescale had been given for the roof repairs to be finished, but Mr O'Nolan said he did not know how long the repairs would take and could not, therefore, provide a date.

He added he was "surprised" the MP had discussed the situation on social media.

READ MORE: Solution for Suffolk art club with uncertain future

Dr Coffey said: "The reason I have raised this issue with the town council is because the chairman of Woodbridge Art Club asked me to.

East Anglian Daily Times: Woodbridge Mayor Eamonn O'NolanWoodbridge Mayor Eamonn O'Nolan (Image: Eamonn O'Nolan)

"Tide Mill Way has been their home for 50 years. I would have liked the mayor and the council to be more transparent on the commissioning of repairs and explaining why they can’t stay in the premises until the works actually get underway.”

"Frankly, snidey remarks from the mayor do not help.

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"The art club was asked to become a limited company by the town council and the club offered to undertake work on the building themselves.

"The town council still needs to answer when the repair works will start.”

However, Mr O'Nolan said: “I am delighted to give Ms Coffey some more background. The town council did indeed suggest that the club become a limited company.  

"This was because its charitable status had lapsed in 2004 and their 2023 application for charitable status had been refused by the Charity Commission, because they wished to continue to disperse profits to their members.  

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"The town council can not enter into a lease with an unconstituted body.  

"I must say that I resent the Honourable Member’s statement that my remarks are ‘snidey’.  

"If she had written to the council before embarking on her social media campaign, then we would have been delighted to respond to her and to give her the full background on the art club’s status.  

"She could of course have obtained that information herself from the art club chair.  

“In any event, I’d have expected that Westminster would have toughened her up enough to cope with the rigours of Woodbridge. 

"As I have previously said, the town council is focused firmly on ensuring that its buildings are properly and safely maintained.  

"We will continue with our plans for the building, including the removal of asbestos in the roof, as quickly as possible.”

READ MORE: Suffolk art club 'stunned' by council's lease decision