Vigilance was needed

It s good to know that, following talks between East Devon District Council and the church, Mackarness Hall will be fit for purpose by the time EDDC leaves the stage.

It's good to know that, following talks between East Devon District Council and the church, Mackarness Hall will be 'fit for purpose' by the time EDDC leaves the stage. But would this have happened without the threat of legal action by the church and a 'grass roots' campaign by Honiton Senior Council, plus the church's parishoners?

This has been achieved in the teeth of strong early oposition from EDDC to do these repairs and improvements.

Your readers will know the senior council took up this issue last December. At the time, East Devon District Council told us Mackarness Hall was of 'low priority'. The phrase 'flogging a dead horse' came to mind when the council wrote to us saying they did not attend to make any improvements re. disabled access to toilets. I believe I then spelt out 'ombudsman' to them in my reply.

When, in March 2009, East Devon invited representatives of the town council to a 'closed door' meeting, to decide the fate of the hall, we lobbied local councillors and called on the town council to 'Save Mackarness Hall'.


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The Seniors' liasion representative on the town council group was our then chairman Cllr Vernon Whitlock and we are pleased and proud that he played such a positive role.

I trust improvements to Mackarness Hall will ensure it affords access to all, because it is a vital local facility.

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This issue has demonstrated the need for 'grass roots' vigilance to protect services.

Tony Simpson

Secretary

Honiton Senior Council

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