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Residents want use of old hall
7:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
RESIDENTS have had their say on the future of a community centre in Hutton.
A meeting was held at St Peter’s Church Hall, in Claughton Way, regarding the future of the Hutton Community Centre and to hear what residents felt should be done with the building, in Knights Way.
Brentwood Council has set aside £165,000 to fund repairs for the boarded-up site in a bid to have it used by residents once again.
Council leader Louise McKinlay was joined by the authority’s Asset Panel chairman Chris Hossack for the meeting which saw just over 100 people attend.
Ideas mentioned during the evening included seeing a coffee bar put in there and allow a youth club to hold nights there, with the council leader saying she was pleased with the response.
Mrs McKinlay said: “The turnout was more than we expected which I think shows the passion held by the local community for the building.
“We want to bring it back to being the hub of the community and have it as a multiple use hall which is not just for one club.
“There is no time frame for how long it will be before the building will be fully operational again, but we would like to get people back in there using it as soon as possible.”
Further meetings will now be held with possible hall users, including younger people from the community.
A group of former users of the venue said after the meeting they want to make sure the building is open for all residents, raising fears about it possibly being mainly let to one group over others.
Andrea Bowers, the former licensee of the building, said: “This was originally built for the residents of Shenfield and Hutton, so let’s see what they want.
“I think the centre should be run by residents’ groups and the community, not groups who just want to collect money.
“We have to supply something for the working class man at some point, because they are just being squeezed into the ground.”