3:30pm Wednesday 4th July 2012
THE chairman of East Tilbury Village Hall is to step down after growing fed-up of vandals damaging the building.
Thousands of pounds and hours of volunteer time have gone into making the hall a community facility, but in the past few months vandals have scratched names on to doors and smashed the back wall.
Yobs have even defaced a sign urging residents to respect the hall.
David Crates, the chairman, is to walk away from the role at the hall’s AGM – and suspects other committee members will leave, too, jeopardsing the facility’s future.
The current committee has overseen the running and maintenance of the hall for the last five years, even raising funds to rejuvenate the decor.
Mr Crates said: “A local firm, Fab Signs & Structures, very kindly provided, free of charge, the ‘respect it and protect it’ signs.
“For over a year these were successful and then the front sign started to have the lettering pulled off and a few names started to be scratched on to the doors facing the park.
“In recent weeks, this has spread to all the doors, even those facing the road. The final straw for me was when we found the render on the back wall had been pulled off, exposing almost half the brickwork.”
The hall is used every day and night by local groups, including senior citizens, marshall arts clubs and fitness instructors. It is also available for parties.
Mr Crates added: “The committee is made up of just five people and as I now intend to resign at the next AGM on July 9, there will only be four.
“It is soul destroying after giving up so much free time to improve the hall, that in the space of a few weeks, all of our hard work can be undone.
“Some people just don’t understand the word community.”
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