Hall's future put at risk

A COMMUNITY hall in Portishead could be left to rack and ruin for future generations unless people come forward and volunteer to take

A COMMUNITY hall in Portishead could be left to rack and ruin for future generations unless people come forward and volunteer to take over its management.The warning comes after only four people turned up at a meeting to discuss the future of Avon Way hall despite 1,700 invites being sent out across the town.The hall, at West Hill is home to a number of local organisations including a pensioners' club and toddlers' group, but is now in a run down state of repair and needs at least £25,000 spent on it to bring it up to standard.Councillors have been looking at ways of improving the building, including possibly taking it out of local authority control and setting up a management group, made up of residents and users, to run it.By setting up a management committee it would mean grants could be applied for to improve the shabby building and moves made to increase the amount of people using the hall.But at the meeting on Wednesday night, only four people turned up, prompting serious fears for the hall's future.Alan McMurray, one of a team of councillors who organised the meeting, said: "This is very disappointing."The initiative to improve Avon Way hall is well supported by both district and town councillors."It is very concerning that the community has not responded to our pleas to get involved in deciding the future improvements and direction for the hall."North Somerset Council has pledged to bring the hall up to standard before any handover to a management group.But left to be managed by the authority, only limited funds are expected to be spent on it, leaving it to slowly decay.Now councillors are appealing for the public to come forward and show their commitment to ensuring the hall has a future.A further meeting is being organised on July 18 at the hall at 6.15pm.Cllr McMurray said: "We need to send a clear message that the future of the hall could be in jeopardy unless residents and users are prepared to work alongside local councillors to get improvements done and agree the future of the hall."It is clear we cannot continue to operate in the same way as we do now.


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