Age Concern to close East Devon centre

AGE Concern Devon is to close its East Devon centre in Honiton this week.

AGE Concern Devon is to close its East Devon centre in Honiton this week.The building, in King Street, will be closed on Friday and the charity is urgently seeking alternative venues in the town to ensure its volunteer-led activities continue.Ann Ovens, chief executive of Age Concern Devon, told the Herald the closure follows an internal health and safety inspection of the building, which is owned by the British Red Cross Society."The fire risk assessment found there were some bits of work required that would cost a lot of money," she said."Our lease on the building ends in August and, as a charity, we have to be careful how we spend our money. "We can't run the risk of not being insured."We are trying to source alternative venues for our services, so we don't lose our volunteers and activities."Ms Ovens said the building had proved "quite expensive to run", especially in terms of heating over the winter months.News of the closure was broken to centre users last week.Those who hire rooms at the centre were also notified and guest speakers were cancelled.East Devon District Council has urgently issued a notice to electors in Honiton that the centre will not be used as a polling station for the forthoming by-election. Votes will instead be cast at The Kings Centre, a few hundred yards away.