Council backs village hall campaign

Council backs village hall campaign

PARISH councillors are actively helping Singleton Village Hall Committee to get through the third and last round of its bid for lottery funds – and this Easter weekend we will be among those distributing the questionnaires vital to provide evidence that the hall is needed locally.

Thanks to work spearheaded by borough and parish councillor Maxine Chew, the committee successfully won through rounds one and two last year. But the committee has been advised that some of its ‘evidence’, which was from the days we created the Parish Plan, needs to be updated. Basically, do residents still have the same views? Do residents want the hall to do the same things? Or have ideas changed?

“We need everyone’s help,” said Maxine. “We know the hall is needed, and that parishioners don’t want to see it go the way of so many others, but we need to provide evidence of this to the Big Lottery Fund. So please fill in your questionnaires as fully as you can.”

Big Lottery organisers have suggested the committee should also focus on teenagers and the over-55s.

Built in 1924, the hall has been a focus of parish life ever since, but its use has reduced in recent years because of the building’s condition. The committee now needs to raise £275,000 to upgrade the building, which is in a Conservation Area, to provide the right venue for today’s activities.

“There’s nothing else quite like it in this part of the world,” said Maxine. “It’s got lots of character and is in a pretty setting, right next to the bowling green. Plus it’s got a sizeable car-park, ideal for modern functions.”

The new committee features Cllr Mick Smith as its chairman, and Cllrs Maxine Chew and Bob Gallagher as committee members, but also retains some members of the earlier committee – Janet Pawson is vice-chair, former parish councillor Sallyanne Davies-Ward is secretary, and Yvonne Coop remains treasurer. Also on the committee are Stacey Barber, Matthew Lee, and Sue Robertson.