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Plans drawn up to close community facility in Fazeley

A community facility in Fazeley could close in a matter of months.

Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet is to debate plans to shut Mill Lane Link Community Hub at the end of June.

The reopening of the Mill Lane Link in 2010

The reopening of the Mill Lane Link in 2010

The local authority said a drop in the usage of the site – which was relaunched in 2010 after a £20,000 refurbishment – was behind the proposals.

Cllr Doug Pullen, Cabinet member for community, said: “The use of the facility has declined, particularly since the county council ceased to use the premises in April 2015.

“It has continued to be used regularly by a small number of community groups. In addition the building provides a police presence in Fazeley, enabling officers to have a local base and private place to meet with local residents.

“The police have advised that their officers only use the building sporadically and have agreed that the use is no longer needed or sustainable.”

Figures reveal that between April 1 and October 1 2016, just five community groups used the Mill Lane Link for a total of around 13 hours a week.

Cllr Doug Pullen

Cllr Doug Pullen

However, a report by Cllr Pullen acknowledges that the users are primarily children or over 60’s.

A number of alternative venues for the groups at locations such as Mile Oak Community Centre, St Paul’s Church in Fazeley and Fazeley Town Hall have been indentified, although all would mean an increase in hire charges.

“The continued use of Mill Lane Link as a Community Hub is not sustainable without further investment in the building together with increased management and marketing costs,” Cllr Pullen said.

“Taking into account the alternative meeting facilities and the low number of regular users it is likely that existing users could be supported to find alternatives to Mill Lane Link and therefore the Mill Lane Link Community Hub should be closed.

“It is proposed to close the Hub on June 30 to enable existing users to find alternative venues.”

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