Parish Council steps in over Community Centre cash crisis

Contributed by editor on Aug 23, 2005 - 11:55 PM



Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman David Callahan is desperately trying to save the £2 million Hawkinge Community Centre from a financial crisis which could see it close.

A closure of the Centre might mean the Baptist Church would be unable to hold services, clubs using the centre could have to find new venues and the Post Office may also be unable to operate.

Community Centre Chairman Trevor Johns wrote to the Gazette saying: "It will be a sad state of affairs if we have to close down because we cannot run the very events that generate the funds for us to stay open for the benefit of the community."

In response to this and conversations with Mr Johns, Cllr Callahan called an Extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council (22 August) to discuss the problems faced by the centre and the assistance which the council may be able to give.

The meeting at the Village Hall last night (22 August) revealed a lack of communication between some Trustees of the Community Centre.

Cllr George Hodgson who is a Trustee for the Centre was asked by the Parish Council Chairman: "Have you been to any meeting of the Trustees since the AGM in May?"

"No" answered Cllr Hodgson. 

"Have you been notified of any meetings?"

"No" he replied.

"Have there been any special meetings regarding the finances?"

"No" he replied again.

"Have you seen the finance report?"

"No I haven't" replied Cllr Hodgson.

The Parish Council Chairman said that they would not be unable to discuss the finance report presented by Community Centre Treasurer and Trustee Trevor Johns, until it had been shown to the other Trustees.

The Council will be contacting the Trust asking for certified accounts for the year 2004/5 and for a meeting of Trustees regarding the finance report which appears to have not been seen by all Trustees.

It was decided to defer the matter to the next Parish Council meeting on 14 September.