Hanger Farm-The Facts
There has been a bit of press coverage about Hanger Farm and Totton College over the weekend.
These are the facts and I can back everything up by way of minutes of meetings and other witnesses.
Totton Town Council owns Hanger Farm, including the Arts Centre. It has an arrangement whereby the Arts Centre is
It has an arrangement whereby the Arts Centre is leased to Totton College who had the responsibility of managing it.
The Arts Centre does not require any great subsidy, it largely pays its way. It receives no financial support from Hampshire County Council, (although HCC chooses to fund a similar centre in Havant to the tune of £100,000 a year!).
It receives no financial support from Hampshire County Council, (although HCC chooses to fund a similar centre in Havant to the tune of £100,000 a year!).
When NACRO took over the running of Totton College, one of my chief concerns was that they would continue with their commitment to Hanger Farm. I was always assured this was the case.
I was always assured this was the case.
I encouraged NACRO to set up a forum so that local people would have some engagement with the running of the college.
I regularly attended meetings of the forum and at no stage was the future of Hanger Farm discussed or agreed and certainly no suggestion that the college might seek to offload the operation.
I am also a member of the Hanger Farm Consultation Committee and similarly, there was no indication on that forum that NACRO would seem to terminate the agreement.
I also know that staff and indeed the Manager of the Centre were not advised of what had been going on behind the scenes.
In fact, discussions have been taking place, leading to NACRO lodging notice of termination to the Town Council, giving them 6 months to withdraw.
When I discovered that things had been handled secretly, without reference to either the Totton College Forum, or The Hanger Farm Consultation Committee, or staff, or indeed most members of the Town Council, I was extremely disappointed, made my view known to the forum and decided to resign from it.
I proposed that the Town Council hold an urgent meeting for members to be advised what is happening.
This was agreed.
I expect a new organisation to replace NACRO to run the centre.
Hopefully, it will be a positive thing in the longer run.
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I am sorry about the length of this post but these essential works are going to cause a lot of disruption and it is a good idea to avoid travelling at these times if you can.