Eye: Concern town hall could struggle to pay bills unless it wins bid to sell alcohol
A TOWN hall is in danger of being swamped with expensive bills it cannot afford unless it wins a bid to be able to sell alcohol, a councillor has warned.
Eye Town Council is bidding for a licence to sell alcohol in the town hall for functions and events.
But neighbours have concerns the alcohol licence will lead to increased levels of anti-social behaviour.
Currently only 14 temporary notices per year can be handed out to groups allowing them to sell and provide alcohol in the building.
Town councillor Maria Ford said the licence was needed to give the hall a financial boost, because it was continuously losing money.
She said the town hall had made a loss last year of £5,500.
“Utilities’ prices are going up all the time, it’s a vast space to heat and our heating bills are incredible,” Mrs Ford said.
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“If we cannot do anything to help the town hall, then my prediction is that we will not be able to maintain it.
“The reason we applied for the licence is because the town hall does need to find a way of paying for itself.
“There’s an element of looking after the future of the town hall and making it viable. I had a couple of chats with local residents and heard their concerns. There have been a few objections, but I had never heard of the concerns before.”
Speaking at the Eye Annual Town Meeting, a neighbour living nearby said there were “a lot of problems” at night with anti-social behaviour, including damage to cars.
He said: “Neighbours feel the same; it’s not just myself.
“It seems to occur when there are alcohol-fuelled elements in the town.
“On many occasions it spills out onto the streets. We have kept quiet about it – perhaps we should have complained. It’s a continuous issue and there have been problems in the past.”
Mrs Ford said people had until May 9 to submit their views on the licence application to Mid Suffolk District Council.
The meeting, which was attended by about 50 members of the public, heard from representatives from different town organisations who gave an update on their activities over the year.
The organisations represented included, Cinema at Eye, Eye Town Hall Improvement Company, Eye 1st Scout Group, Hartismere School and St Elizabeth Hospice.