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Council to take action on town's hall

PUBLISHED: 09:58 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:22 01 August 2010

COUNCILLORS in Beccles have agreed a course of action following news that the town's public hall could be sold off.

Local people voiced their anger last month after it emerged that Waveney District Council is considering the future of the historic town building and selling it is one of the options on the table.

COUNCILLORS in Beccles have agreed a course of action following news that the town's public hall could be sold off.

Local people voiced their anger last month after it emerged that Waveney District Council is considering the future of the historic town building and selling it is one of the options on the table.

Questions have also been raised about whether the hall is the district council's property to sell with some local people suggesting it belongs to the people of Beccles.

Beccles town councillor Michael Doherty spoke of his concern at learning of the issue.

Speaking at a Beccles Town Council meeting on Tuesday night he said that a lot of money had been poured into the building over the years, including £55,000 from the town council.

He highlighted problems relating to the cost of hiring the building.

“I have enquired with Waveney District Council and it varies from £8.50 up to £52 an hour - that is quite a considerable amount of money,” he said. “This is possibly the reason why the hall is underused.”

The district council has said that despite significant investment the hall still operates at a deficit.

Officials say it requires more investment in terms of structural work to the balcony and recent damage done to the external wall of the building. There are only four core user groups.

A district council spokeswoman said yesterday: “The council has not yet decided a way forward and such points will be considered, investigated and contained in a future report to Scrutiny, prior to any decision being taken.”

Town councillors agreed to write to the district council regarding their concerns about a lack of information. They also agreed to ask for a meeting with the relevant officers at Waveney to discuss the future of the hall. The issue of ownership will also be pursued.

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