Was Soham Hall Such An Asset To The Town

PUBLISHED: 11:19 29 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010

IN response to Cllr Peggy Gibbon s letter, the church hall was close 11 years ago and as far as I am aware it was not used for public hire for six years before then, apart from shoe sales and bric-a-brac auctions. When the church put it up for sale it bec

IN response to Cllr Peggy Gibbon's letter, the church hall was close 11 years ago and as far as I am aware it was not used for public hire for six years before then, apart from shoe sales and bric-a-brac auctions. When the church put it up for sale it became an issue with some people saying we are losing an asset to the town. If it was such an asset why was it hardly used for six years, prior to closing?

In Mrs Gibbon's letter, she says the heart of Soham has been ripped out, this would seem to me to say there is nowhere for people to hire places to meet in Soham. As far as I know there are over 17 public hire venues available. As far as cinema goes the city of Ely, just six miles away, could not make it pay, so what indication is there that one is needed in Soham?

Scouting and guiding in Soham has gone on continuously for 95 years. As Maisie Rouse would attest if she were still with us. We currently have more than 220 children each week meeting in two inadequate huts, with waiting lists for all the girls' sections. We have up to 11 units meeting each week over the Monday to Friday evening periods. Separate facilities are required by both scout and guide sections, as illustrated by the planning application, the scout section needs two separate meeting rooms due to being co-ed the small mezzanine section lends itself to an upper gallery which could safely be partitioned as a shooting and archery range.

Current footfall is in excess of 10240 per year. A new meeting place would give a future for guiding and scouting for the next 95 years with 138,971 youngsters working their way through a system which has proved to create useful members of any community.

PETER WELLS

Cub Scout Leader

2nd Soham Scout Group

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