Councillors prepare for the worst at welfare

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PEGSWOOD councillors will draw up contingency plans to try to retain a village building for community use if it comes under threat of closure.

Members of the parish council have already deferred a grant of £3,000 for Pegswood Welfare as it will only make a decision once it has received a full business plan outlining what it intends to achieve in the next few years.

At its latest meeting, the authority was informed by Deputy Clerk Kevin Cassie that the Welfare trustees will continue to operate the committee in its current format until the end of the current lease with landowner Welbeck Estates later in the decade.

But he said there may be an issue to deal with before then if not enough money can be raised to pay costs.

As a result, councillors will look at how the building can be used in future to avoid it being shut down if the committee folds.

Coun David Woodard said: “We need to find out what types of events can be held at the Welfare if the worst should happen to show that there is a need for a large community building in Pegswood.

“For example, Pegswood Community Project doesn’t have the space to do all the activities it wants to do.

“Even if we have to go through the back door, we need to have things ready to go if the committee folds otherwise the landowner may decide to demolish the building.

“This could also be an opportunity to engage young people in activities which are not available at the moment.”

Members agreed to set up a meeting to discuss the long-term future of the site.