Shock over Village Hall ownership

Contributed by editor on Nov 11, 2004 - 10:12 PM


It was revealed at last night's Parish Council meeting (10 November) that the land o­n which the village hall is built and the adjacent car park does not belong to the Village Hall Management Committee but is owned by Hawkinge Parish Council.

Council Chairman David Callahan explained that the deeds showed the Parish Council have owned the land since 1980.

But the revelations may not be a windfall for the council. Repairs to the car park are urgently needed and the state of repair of the village hall has recently been attacked by readers of the Hawkinge Gazette.

It does mean though that the cycle and footpath, which termiates abruptly at the Village Hall car park can now be completed and extended to Canterbury Road. This will make access easier to the sub Post Office and the Community Centre.

Questions will now be asked how this information remained hidden.

Some members of the Village Hall Management Committee also sit o­n the Parish Council, and yet the information o­nly came to light after negotiations to build a small electricity sub-station were completed and the Parish Council Chairman, as the representative of the owners of the land, was asked to sign the authorising documents.

It was o­nly then that the Parish Council ownership became a possibility. Further investigation of the deeds clarified the situation that  Hawkinge Parish Council became owners of the land  24 years ago in 1980.