Groups meet over centre

3/6/2011'New Mill Social Centre, Tring. 'Groups from Slimming World, Brownies, Whist Drive players and Pilates protesting against it's closure.
3/6/2011'New Mill Social Centre, Tring. 'Groups from Slimming World, Brownies, Whist Drive players and Pilates protesting against it's closure.
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A COMMUNITY will hold an open meeting tonight to discuss the future of their hall.

Groups who oppose the New Mill Social Centre in Tring will meet at 9pm to discuss the base, which Tring Team Parish plans to knock down.

Clubs using it called the gathering after controversial proposals to turn the building into a chaplaincy to serve Tring School.

Groups fear other halls in the town will be out of walking distance for elderly people and there will not be the space available to store equipment.

Earlier this month, Reverend Huw Bellis, from the parish team said there were other halls available within walking distance.

However, Roger Engell, group scout leader at Ridgeway Scouts, said the hut on Grove Road in Tring would only be able to accommodate extra groups during the day.

His group uses it two evenings a week and at weekends, while Tring Martial Arts meets three evenings a week and on Saturday mornings.

He said: “Currently no evenings are available because it is used every day. We can only let third-party users have access on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“If it is not on those days we are not allowed to let them use it because of council regulations.”

He also said there is no storage space available.

“We are bursting at the seams with what we have in there,” he said. “We just built an extension for more storage space, but when running a scout group with all the camping equipment needed we use it all for ourselves.”

Tring Team Parish reverend Jane Bannister said Mr Bellis had arranged a meeting with groups on Saturday, but nobody showed up.

She said: “One hall will not be able to accommodate everybody, but New Mill Church is available for hire.” She added: “There are very few regular groups who walk.”