Hanger Farm : I Am So Glad I Asked…..
I raised the question of the Hanger Farm Arts Centre at the full meeting of the Town Council tonight.
I know that a lot of people are concerned about the future of the centre, following the decision of NACRO run Totton College to divest themselves of the responsibility of running it.
It seemed that the future was assured with the local charity, Minstead Trust, keen to take over the running of the facility – but this was always subject to negotiations and various legal matters being sorted out.
Councillors were given just a four line report in the Council Minutes that referred to issues that had arisen with the lease.
I stood up and pointed out that there had been no meeting of the Hanger Farm Liaison Committee for more than 6 months and that, although all Town Councillors were jointly accountable for the proper running of the facility, few of us knew what was going on.
To my surprise, the Town Clerk publicly acknowledged that there were serious financial risks that had only recently been identified to the tune of £120,000, in addition to some staffing issues that needed to be resolved.
I gained a commitment that a meeting would be hastily arranged in order that Councillors can be made aware of the issues surrounding Hanger Farm.
It is very clearly in everyone’s interests that the difficulties identified by sorted out quickly.
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At the last meeting of New Forest District Council, I was the only member of the Council who challenged them over their terrible record on recycling.