Search

Rifle Hall under fire from charity

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:05 01 August 2010

MUCH-NEEDED funds for cancer research were lost because a council failed to restore kitchen facilities at a function hall to an acceptable standard, it has been claimed.

MUCH-NEEDED funds for cancer research were lost because a council failed to restore kitchen facilities at a function hall to an acceptable standard, it has been claimed.

The Halesworth branch of Cancer Research said its volunteers were unable to make hot lunches for customers at their recent annual Christmas Fayre because of the poor standard of kitchen facilities at the town's Rifle Hall, and as a result their takings dropped significantly.

Nina Canham, joint chairman of the branch, pointed the finger of blame at Waveney District Council and said the authority had “failed to restore the kitchen of the Rifle Hall to a usable and acceptable standard”.

However, the authority hit back describing the comments as “surprising and disappointing” and said all the users have been aware for over a year that the hall has been closed to all but basic use because of ongoing cost issues.

Mrs Canham said: “Due to Waveney District Council's failure to restore the kitchen of the Rifle Hall to a usable and acceptable standard, we were unable to provide customers with our usual hot lunches.

“As a direct result of being unable to do this our takings dropped significantly. Much-needed funds for cancer research were reduced by £649 below the total of the Christmas 2008 event.”

Mrs Canham added: “There are no alternative venues in Halesworth to hold events such as ours. We are very disappointed by Waveney District Council's lack of action regarding either having proper repairs made to the Rifle Hall or taking urgent and positive steps to provide a new community hall for the tax payers of Halesworth.”

But a Waveney District Council spokesman said: “These comments are surprising and disappointing given that all the users have been aware for over a year that the Rifle Hall has been closed to all but basic use because of ongoing cost issues. The problems of the Rifle Hall are well documented as are Waveney's considerable efforts to resolve them.

“However, the council is hopeful that someone will be able to take the hall over in the short term while a long term, sustainable option for a suitable community provision can be determined.”

The row is the latest twist in the long-running saga over the Rifle Hall with councillors due to discuss its future next week.

A working group was set up by the district council in the summer to look at the future of the hall in London Road following a council review that recommended they no longer run the facility.

Since then a number of different organisations have given a “clear indication” that they would be interested in taking over the hall but as yet no deal has been secured.

The district council's charities board is due to discuss the Rifle Hall at a meeting on Monday and councillors will be presented with a series of recommendations from the Halesworth working group. They include that the group should produce an information pack about the hall and invite formal expressions of interest to become the new trustees.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists