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Letter: A New Year and a New Village Hall for Ripley – But Why So Big?

Published on: 9 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 9 Jan, 2024

Ripley Village Hall

From: John Perkins

Ripley’s new village hall is mostly complete and, whilst the plans show a very large building (not including Victory House), it is in reality enormous. It’s quite probably the largest building in the Ripley and Send Marsh community area.

But despite its size, there doesn’t seem much in it for the community. Given that it was extremely rare for both halls in the old building to be in use simultaneously, it’s unlikely that the five new halls (three in the main building and two in Victory House) will satisfy any great need.

And the main hall will not be suitable for many sports as it has been primarily designed for amateur dramatics, concerts and recitals.

One beneficiary of the new building is Ripley Parish Council, which has a dedicated section amounting to approximately 12 per cent of the total size, slightly bigger than the second main hall.

It’s not immediately obvious why a council with seven members meeting once a week needs its own room at all, let alone such a large one, when there are three small halls and two large ones in which it could be accommodated.

Some might question if it actually should be provided out of public funds intended for community use.

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Responses to Letter: A New Year and a New Village Hall for Ripley – But Why So Big?

  1. Olly Azad Reply

    January 10, 2024 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve noticed some dilapidated village hall buildings that are crying out for an urgent makeover and investment so to see the new Ripley Village Hall looking so snazzy, modern and capacious is refreshing to see.

    As with any new building and enterprise finding the right equilibrium is crucial in order that everyone from the community can participate and benefit in it’s use. Aesthetically, it looks appealing.

    • John Perkins Reply

      January 11, 2024 at 10:32 am

      There is no question that the new building looks better than the old one.

      It remains to be seen whether or not everyone from the community can make use of the main halls, though the halls in Victory House appear to be used less than 10 per cent of the time.

      One issue is the size – taking a facetious view, most of the population of the area of benefit (about 4,500) could fit, if standing) within the walls.

      The other is the actual use made of it: does a subsidised office for the parish council count as community use?

  2. Olly Azad Reply

    January 11, 2024 at 2:24 pm

    To cram in the community of Ripley and Send Marsh in the main halls might be best left to the imagination, but golly is does feel mammoth in size, weight and structure. It really would be an awful shame if only 10 per cent of the time the facilities are being utilised when there is further scope to do alot more.

    Perhaps the parish council have found a niche in the market where the lofty new building has looked earily quiet to them and so the seven member delegation has decided to occupy the whole room for themselves. As for the subsidised factor it does sound like ‘Money for old rope’ which the parish council would love to maintain for eternity I imagine.

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