Reid Hall is an ‘embarrassment to Forfar’

MEMBERS of Forfar Community Council are to write to the chief executive of Angus Council to ask for an urgent review of the maintenance of the Reid Hall in the town.

The building, part of the town’s Common Good Fund, is used by a variety of groups throughout the year, attracting thousands of visitors to the area.

Community councillors have, in the past, expressed concerns about what they have seen as a lack of housekeeping at the flagship building, from the state of the kitchen to the tired looking curtains along the front of the orchestra pit.

Whilst the curtains have been replaced and check lists are now issued to hall users, members have received complaints from those hiring the hall about what is required of them when taking out a hall let, and problems which have arisen when using the hall.

At their meeting on Thursday evening in the Town and County Hall, chairman Mrs Isobel Ross told members she had received another complaint from one organisation which had rented the hall.

There were reports of toilet rolls running out, bins not being emptied and leaking toilets - all of which did not make a good advert for the town.

She said: “The Reid Hall rears its ugly head again. We have received a letter listing a number of complaints about the Reid Hall, and I feel we need to get the cleaning process sorted out once and for all.

“It costs hundreds of pounds to hire the Reid Hall and the hall should be fit for purpose.

“When you hire the Reid Hall there are so many parts you have to pay for. You pay for the kitchen, the small hall, the bar - but things like toilet rolls running out and bins not being emptied just isn’t good enough.

“I think we have to make a stand. This is our hall, not the council’s hall.

“If Forfar organisations are hiring the hall then why are they not getting a community rate. They are bringing in a lot of money to the town, it’s a nonsense. This is a good hall but it’s not being properly looked after.

“I am very dissatisfied.”

Vice-chairman Pat Taylor agreed stating: “It’s an embarrassment to Forfar.”

Members called on action from Angus Council to ensure that those booking the hall are properly catered for.

Community councillor Mike Lawson said: “This is a degeneration of the whole system. If you don’t have a full time member of staff to look after it, then the hall will get run down.”

Members felt the Reid Hall was a great asset for the town, being used recently to bring in wrestling fans from all over and is used for other high profile events which boost the local economy.

Alistair Cormie warned: “This is another flag for Forfar but at the moment the flag is at the bottom of the flag pole”.

Members agreed unanimously to write to Richard Stiff, chief executive of Angus Council, and Angus councillor Donald Morrison, convener of the local authority’s neighbourhood services, to highlight their concerns.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday (yesterday), a spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We would ask that the organisation who hired the hall could contact the council directly so that their issues could be investigated.”