‘Serious’ fears over future of Portishead hall
PUBLISHED: 11:49 20 February 2017
Plans by North Somerset Council to potentially close a community hall in Portishead have been met with dismay.
The authority is keen to relinquish its responsibilities with Avon Way Hall and, as reported in the Times, wants a community group to come forward and run the site through volunteers.
The move would help the council save some money and the decision has now been signed off by Cllr Felicity Baker.
Portishead Town Council members however are fearful that if no-one comes forward then North Somerset may look to close the hall. The report signed off by Cllr Baker shows North Somerset has considered that possibility already.
Cllr Arthur Terry said the hall was a ‘valuable facility’ for people who live in Avon Way and West Hill.
He said he had heard there was some interest from groups in the town but raised his own ‘serious’ concern that unless an obvious organisation comes forward quickly then the hall could be put lost for good.
Town councillors are hopeful a community group can be found which is willing to run the hall, and are adamant it cannot close.
The town council is responsible for a number of public buildings, including The Folk Hall, but is seemingly not keen to take on Avon Way Hall unless it has to.
Cllr Ros Cruse said: “Avon Way Hall is a very good facility for people who live at that end of town.
“As much as I don’t want to see the hall close, I believe we should only be the owner as the last resort, not the first resort.
“We can’t let it close.”
North Somerset and Portishead town councillor David Oyns suggested the hall could be used in future by the scouts, as it has a waiting list of 60 children wanting to join groups.
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