Sunday, 18 August 2013

Elmbridge Council doubles its investment in Mole Hall

I WELCOME Elmbridge Council’s decision to double the money it is investing in Mole Hall.

The council had planned to spend £200,000 to refurbish the hall in West Molesey’s Bishop Fox Way, as part of plans to relocate Molesey Day Centre and Meals on Wheels services there. But it has been able to secure an extra £60,000 from Surrey County Council, and will contribute more in turn from its own budgets to boost the total to £400,000.

Cllr Christine Elmer, Conservative cabinet member for social affairs, told me: “The extra money will allow us to install a suspended ceiling across the whole hall, remove the heating stacks, provide additional partitions and low level windows, and new lighting.

“This will be a high quality refurbishment. The work is due to begin in October with the centre being operational early next year.”

Christine confirmed that hall hirers have been personally consulted on the changes, and will continue to be. Molesey councillors have also been consulted via meetings with officers and cabinet members and the leader of the council.

Elmbridge Council is making the changes because Molesey Day Centre has outgrown its current home in School Road and needs to expand. At the same time Mole Hall was being hired only 27% of the time. But by combining the successful day centre & the hall it is believed the long term future can be secured of both.

There have been a few excitable rumours going around that Mole Hall could be sold for housing or even turned into pitches for travellers! Some of this uncertainty seems to a degree to have been got up irresponsibly by elements of the Molesey Residents Association, but it has not helped at the same time that the site featured on a list drawn up by civil servants of possible future development areas.

However, having lobbied on the matter I have received assurances that the future of Mole Hall is safe, and signficant investment of £400,000 should assuage any doubts (and gossip from certain green rosetted quarters) as to the councils’ commitment to the long-term future of Mole Hall, and am sure that it is here to stay.

I recently went around its exterior with a concerned resident and photographed broken gutters and the damaged fencing and having drawn them to the Council’s attention had it confirmed that this will be repaired with the refurbishment.

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