13:42 Tuesday 14 January 2014

Village hall plan in doubt after £100k loan plea is rejected

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

Repton Village Hall Repton Village Hall

A PLANNED rebuild of a South Derbyshire village hall is in doubt after a parish council rejected a plea to invest up to £100,000 into the project.

Members of Repton Village Hall’s management committee requested a substantial loan from the village’s parish authority after struggling to access funding through other streams.

But the huge amount that it was suggested the council put up – it receives only £14,000 per year in Government funding – caused a stir among members, especially as it had already contributed £43,000 towards the project.

Chairman John Shortt said he would have been uncomfortable agreeing to put such a huge debt on the council – even suggesting members of the parish council would have to put up personal guarantees against the loan.

He also said the authority would need to double its precept, taking it to one of the highest in Derbyshire.

Members of the committee decided the village hall, in Askew Drive, which opened in 1973, needed to be rebuilt as it had fell into decline in recent years.

The project is estimated to cost around £400,000.

But council members were adamant the authority should not be asked to meet such a huge part of the bill.

Auriol Cumming said: “We have already committed £43,000, that’s a large amount, so we have demonstrated our support for the village hall.”

Barbara McArdle said having a village hall in Repton was not the council’s main concern.

She said: “There are other rooms in the village that could be used. We are not bereft of rooms.”

Fellow member Carol Lloyd suggested the committee come back with a request after raising more funds.

She said: “I would much prefer the village hall committee to get the village more involved in fund-raising and perhaps come back at the end if they have a slight problem.”

The village hall committee was ultimately defeated as the council voted unanimously against the proposal.

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