A Colne Valley community volunteer says Kirklees Council has failed to keep a well-loved hall up to scratch for several years.
The secretary of Milnsbridge Village Hall, Deborah Wright, says she was dismayed that the council, which currently owns the hall, has failed to maintain the building’s outside which is now badly in need of re-painting and needs to be mended in places.
She spoke out as Kirklees Rural committee voted to award the hall committee members £1,300 so that they could carry out the work themselves.
Deborah, who works hard with a team of fellow volunteers to keep the hall running and put on dozens of events for residents, said: “It’s very sad the council has carried out no work on it over the last few years because it’s a big part of the community.
“I just don’t think the council has had the money to do the repairs but I think it should have been responsible for the repairs, especially because we are now looking at submitting an application for a community asset transfer for the hall, but obviously want to get it up to scratch before that goes ahead.
“We’re really glad to have the money and we will be getting a handyman to do some of it but a lot of the work will have to be done by volunteers like us.”
Kirklees Council's Assistant Director for Place Joanne Bartholomew said: “The council, in partnership with our tenants, aims to keep our buildings safe, dry and secure, additional maintenance is only possible where funding is available.
“Following recent budget cuts from central government there is less money to spend and this means we have to consider alternative ways of looking after community buildings, including sharing responsibility for them with local community groups. Our proposals for next year are part of the current public budget consultation.”
The money will also allow the team to be able to finally make the hall fully disabled friendly when a ramp over the top front entrance step is installed.
Deborah said: “At the moment people can get up to the hall in a wheelchair and we have disabled toilets inside but wheelchairs can’t get up the step by the entrance.
“We’re really excited now because we’ll be able to make the building fully accessible, so this scheme will make that happen.”