Wellington community hall safe for a further two years
The community hall and bowling club situated in Vennell Street and Mornington Road were potentially going to be sold.
However, keeping the hall was an easy decision says councillor Justin Lester.
“We worked together with Brooklyn Community Centre and members of the local area to better publicise the hall, so that its usage would increase,” says Mr Lester.
“The local community has seized the opportunity and as its utilisation has remained higher over the past 12 months, we decided it made sense to keep it open.”
Vogelmorn hall is in use most nights for activities such as Zumba, Taekwondo, and singing classes.
A Facebook group called “Save Vogelmorn Assets” was set up to petition against the sale and many locals posted their support.
Brett Kraiger has been running Taekwondo classes in the hall since 1995 and says he is the third leader to do so.
Mr Kraiger says apart from short periods between the three clubs they have been using this hall for a quarter of a century.
“I doubt very much whether many of the council staff or councillors have been in their jobs that long and yet they feel they have the right to dispose of this valuable community asset,” he says.
In May about 100 hundred residents attended a WCC meeting to show their displeasure at the possibility of the hall being sold.
People who used the hall were told then that they may have to start going to classes at other community halls nearby.
“We were told that we’d have to go and use the halls in Newtown or Aro Valley,” says Vogeltown resident Sara Tyler.
“It wasn’t an ideal thought as some of us don’t drive, so I’m pleased that this situation has been dealt with for the meanwhile”.
The WCC has decided to push back talks of sales “for at least the next two years” according to Mr Lester as the WCC continue to observe the hall’s use.
“We would prefer not to have to cut back services, but we also have financial constraints so we need to allocate our resources where it is most needed.
“When community assets aren’t being used it is difficult to continue funding, but if they are then the spending is justified.”