FEARS have been raised about the future of Newton Stewart’s McMillan Hall after rumours of impending cuts which could lead to its closure hit the town.
Cree Valley Community Councillor John McNaught raised the issue at the council’s monthly meeting on Monday, but was told by local councillor Graham Nicol said no decision had been made on the future of the town hall.
Council budget cut suggestions last year had included moving the customer service centre from the McMillan Hall to Newton Stewart Library, but no decision has yet been confirmed on those cuts.
John said: “The talk is that this is more than just rumours and that is is due to go ahead. Does that mean the hall will only be open to lets?
“If so, things will only get worse. The hall is a blemish on the town the way it is just now, it is run down and needs care. If it is now only oing to be open to lets, this situation will get worse.”
Coucillor Nicol replied: “The hall will not be allowed to fall further into disrepair. It is an iconic building for the town, but I think we should be encouraging communities to take over their halls and avoid that fear.”
Community councillor Bill Campbell expressed his concerns at the prospect of the customer service centre moving, pointing out that the library isn’t fit for purpose.
He said: “There isn’t enough parking, that are is already congested because of the schools nearby. The building isn’t big enough.” He added that his concerns stretch to the potential for the council to later move the planning department, which is also housed in the McMillan Hall.
Councillor Nicol suggested the community council contact Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Justin Tracey on the matter.
A council spokewoman told The Gazette that no decision had been made yet: “All the information relating to this can be found on the council’s website and it is clear that nothing has been taken forward yet.”