We need access to our hall

Crail Community Hall, St Andrews Road, Crail.
Crail Community Hall, St Andrews Road, Crail.
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LOCAL residents in Crail have been left frustrated because of access issues to their community hall.

Up until early 2012, there was a dedicated hall keeper for the facility.

But since then there have been on-going issues with the hall, which is owned and maintained by Fife Council.

The Mail understands that anyone wanting access to the hall must wait on a hall keeper to come from either Anstruther or St Andrews, making getting into the hall at short notice very difficult.

One local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said locals are frustrated. “People in Crail are quite incensed that we have a community hall but we can’t actually get into it.

‘‘There are people in the local area who want to use the hall and to see it idle, dark and unsued is extremely sad.”

A local group which wants to buy and manage the hall has also come up against problems.

The Crail Community Interest Company (CCIC) was set up three years ago, and it was approached by locals last year after the Crail Community Trust decided it wasn’t in a position to take responsibility of the hall, something which it had been in discussions with the Council about for a number of years.

Ian Ramsay, director and secretary of CCIC confirmed to the MAil that he has had no response from the Council since submitting the plans nearly five months ago.

“There has been no response at all from Fife Council to a formal proposal to acquire and manage the Crail Community Hall on behalf of the community of Crail, other than an acknowledgement of receipt,” he said.

“The submission of this proposal was made in line with the stated policy of the Scottish Government and Fife Council which encourages local communities to take over such community assets from the local authority.

He added: “I really am surprised and puzzled at the lack of response from the Council.”

Gary Daniels, community resources team leader at Fife Council, said: “Any bookings for Crail Community Hall can be organised locally through the caretaker, cluster supervisor or resources co-ordinator.

“The policy regarding access to facilities is currently under review. We are not aware of anyone having difficulties accessing Crail Community Hall - in fact many local groups regularly use the facility without any problem.

“The CCIC has submitted an application to the Council expressing its interest in the hall.

‘‘When this progresses any recommendations by the service will require to be approved by the local area committee and the Council’s executive committee.”