Community council left with no meeting place

THE CHAIRMAN of Monifieth Community Council says he was irritated to learn that evening lets of the burgh chambers in the town’s library were no longer available.

Last week Angus Council announced that community groups would not be able to use some local authority buildings, including Monifieth and Carnoustie libraries due to health and safety regulations.

Monifieth Community Council, which meets in the library, was already aware of the situation after they were informed a trained fire lifter would need to be present at all of their meetings and had met elsewhere in the town.

However, they have been working with Angus Council to try and resolve the problem and get their meetings back in the burgh chambers.

But now John Whellams says he was surprised to find out about the council’s blanket ban on hiring the library out of hours, as he thought the situation could be resolved.

He told the Guide & Gazette: “We had already received a letter last year from the council telling us we weren’t able to use the burgh chambers for no other reason than health and safety regulations.

“When we found out it was because a trained fire lifter would have to be present, we were actually trying to see if maybe one of our members could have the training so we could remain in the library.

“And now I hear that the council will no longer consider lets in the burgh chambers, it has irritated me as we tried to bend over backwards to remain there and comply with the rules.

“The people of Monifieth expect us to meet there as it is right in the centre of the town.”

At their last meeting the community council were forced to meet at Seaview Primary School and Mr Whellams says their next meeting will take place in the Gerard Hall.

Last Tuesday, the council’s infrastructure services committee agreed to grant almost £5,000 to the Monifieth Community Centre Steering Group to refurbish an old temporary building in the grounds of Invertay House.

The building could then be used as a meeting place in Monifieth until a larger purpose built centre is created. And if the temporary building becomes available, Mr Whellams says the community council will definitely look into meeting there.

He added: “I suppose this is the only positive thing we can take from this situation at the moment.

“If the building does become available we would definitely like to meet there as it is right in the middle of Monifieth, which is where we want our meetings to be.

“But there is still a lot of work to be done to it before that will become feasible.”