Future of community hall in doubt

17:14 21 March 2012

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Archant

THE future of an historic hall at the heart of Cuffley is “hanging in the balance”.

Hopes that volunteers would come forward to join the committee of ailing Cuffley Hall, in Maynard Place, in time for last week’s AGM were not realised, leaving the venue’s future up in the air.

As previously reported by the Potters Bar Edition, chairman Brian Bennett was calling on any interested parties to become a committee member before he stepped down from his position at the meeting.

Although the club did secure a new secretary, a new chairman was not forthcoming.

With no leadership, the hall may now fall into the hands of Cuffley and Northaw Parish Council.

The hall is currently a non-profitable organisation run for the benefit of the local community but that liberty is in danger of being taken away, with interested parties from the leisure scene and pub firms such as J D Wetherspoon rumored to be monitoring the situation.

Parish council clerk Jason Grocock told the Potters Bar Edition: “There is still no progress and the future of the hall really is hanging in the balance.

“If no chairman is found by the next executive meeting on April 12 then it wall fall into the hands of the parish council, when it really should be a separate body run by the community.

“They really need a committee which is functional, and it would be nice if younger residents, maybe 40 plus, could come in with fresh energy.

“I’ve heard of interest from people wanting to turn it into a gym or maybe even a pub but it wouldn’t be viable.”

Mr Bennett also insisted the idea of the hall becoming anything other than what it is now wasn’t on the horizon, but added he was concerned that the committee’s structure remained a shambles.

Following on from our story earlier this year calling for fresh volunteers, Mr Bennett told the Potters Bar Edition: “There has been a remarkable lack of response.

“At the AGM there is usually 14 people but this time there was 64, yet even with 50 more people than usual still no one put their hand up to volunteer.

“People were there to criticise and say what the hall could be doing better, but when you ask them to help out they say no.

“All the club needs is someone enthusiastic about publicising the hall.”

He added: “The hall is a long way off from going bankrupt just yet, so I can’t see it falling into the hands of a buyer, but it hasn’t been making money and that needs to be seriously looked at sooner rather than later.”

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