Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Village Hall may be closed.

Here is part of Hammersmith and Fulham Buildings report

c. 58 Bulwer Street: is declared too costly to
keep and maintain and can be released for

12. 58 Bulwer Street
12.1 58 Bulwer Street is a three storey building adjacent to Westfield Shopping Centre
and the new Shepherds Bush Library. The building is let to three separate
organisations. It is used in the following ways:
• Ground floor: The ground floor comprises a large hall with a kitchen and WCs
and offices. The space is hired by a range of organisations for sports, dance,
religious and social activities.
• 1st floor: the first floor comprises a large hall, large kitchen, offices and a
treatment room. The space is used to provide the local Children’s Centre, which
is commissioned by the council.
• 2nd floor: the second floor comprises one office and a small IT training room.
12.2 There is no disabled access to the first floor where the Children’s Centre is located.
Parents accessing the Children’s Centre are currently required to carry pushchairs
and buggies up a flight of stairs. There is no outdoor space for children to play.
12.3 All leases have expired, and occupancy continues under a tenancy at will basis.
12.4 Current occupants:
• Shepherds Bush Community Association: SBCA occupy the ground floor and
have run the community facility for over 20 years; it is a well known facility but
SBCA have, over the years, limited their activity from broader community
development to hall lettings. This organisation is not funded by the council but is
offered rent at a peppercorn.
• Shepherds Bush Families Project: SBFP is a children’s and families support
centre who occupy the first floor. The service is aimed at families living under
severe housing crisis including homelessness, temporary and poor
accommodation and includes play groups, classes and advice and support.
SBFP is currently funded by Children’s Services until 31/03/11 to deliver the
Children’s Centre, paying rent at a peppercorn.
• West & North West London Vietnamese Association WNW London
Vietnamese Association occupies an office on the 2nd floor. The organisation
provides training, work advice and information, ESOL and IT classes and support
to elderly Vietnamese people. The majority of activities are delivered from
alternative sites in the borough. The organisation is funded through the 3rd
Sector Investment Fund (circa £30k pa) and pays rent at market rate for small
offices on the second floor.
12.5 Alternative options:
12.5.1 Ground floor:
• The majority of groups who use the ground floor hall offer sports, faith, health
and leisure activities. The centre is used regularly by three faith groups, a dance
school and young people’s sports group, with additional regular alterative
therapies operating from the centre.
• Approximately 100 other halls/venues are available for hire in the borough
including approximately 20 in the W12 area.
12.5.2 1st floor
• Following discussions with the Shepherds Bush Families Project, the
organisation has agreed to become a Children's Centre spoke and has been
listed in the Children's Centre consultation document to go live on the 21st
January. Consultation on a review of Children's Centre provision will commence
in February 2011. Although the number of centres in the borough is set to
increase, the delivery model will change
• The organisation is exploring two potential relocation sites for their service; on
the Edward Woods estate or in the community centre on the Charcroft Estate
with additional space near by. Their preferred option is the latter and officers are
working with the organisation to facilitate their relocation.
• Families accessing the services of the SBFP do so from a range of locations
across the borough. Access to good public transport links is considered a
priority for their service delivery. Either location would enable parents with
families continued access. The advantage for children would be that they may
have access to outdoor play which they are not able to access at their current
12.5.3 2nd floor:
• Alternative accommodation will be available in the nearby Edward Woods Estate
that the current occupant would be able to apply for.
• There may also be other non LBHF premises options that the organisation could
explore that would be closer to its group activity provision in the south of the
12.6 Consultation feedback
• 271 responses received (not including the signatories to a petition)
• Responses supporting disposal: 5%
• Responses opposing disposal: 44%
• No preference: 51%
12.6.1 The majority of respondents expressed neutral or no views regarding the proposal.
More respondents were opposed to it than in support of it, asserting that a range of
valuable and popular services are provided, and it forms a focal point for White
City/Shepherds Bush residents. A relatively large proportion were not aware of the
property or had never used it. Few were supportive of the sale.
12.7 The Council has received a separate petition “Save the Village Hall / Drill Hall”. The
petition prayer is;
“We the undersigned need the Drill Hall to remain a space for the community to use”
Number of signatures from people living, working or studying in the borough –
approximately 170.
12.7.1 The Petition does not reach the threshold of 5000 signatures necessary to be
considered at Full Council but has been considered as part of the consultation
feedback. The response to the petition prayer is:
There are sufficient alternative venues for the activities and services currently
located at the centre – therefore the support provided to local residents should be
able to continue. The council will provide details of other halls and venues for hire in
the borough.
12.8 Equalities impact assessment – For the full Equalities Impact Assessment please
refer to appendix 3g – 58 Bulwer Street and appendix 3gi – Bulwer Street
organisation impact. In summary:
12.8.1 As with Palingswick House, consideration in the Equalities Impact Assessment was
given to whether services currently located in the building would:
• Relocate elsewhere in the borough
• Relocate outside of the borough
• Cease trading
12.8.2 Shepherds Bush Families Project
12.8.3 As a Children’s Centre spoke, the council would undertake to identify another
suitable location in area for this service to move to. Officers are exploring various
options for this.
12.8.4 As an alternative space would be available within the local area, no negative impact
has been identified with regards to this service. Any alternative accommodation will
be fully accessible, offering a positive impact in terms of disability.
12.8.5 Shepherds Bush Community Association:
12.8.6 The village hall is well used by a number of organisations, including dance and
sports groups, health and wellbeing providers and faith groups.
12.8.7 The council has identified a number of alternative venues in the borough that users
of the hall could potentially use to deliver their activities. A number of local residents
have commented that a high number of people from outside of the immediate area
access the faith, dance and sports activities in the centre.
12.8.8 Users of alternative therapy services which operate from the hall are thought more
likely to be local residents. The Blood Donor service also uses this hall on a regular
basis and this is considered a priority to support to find an alternative location,
although does not offer a negative impact to any particular communities.
12.8.9 There is a possible low to medium negative health and wellbeing impact for local
residents, particularly those from low income households, should the alternative
therapy services no longer continue to be available in the immediate area.
However, mitigating factors include the range of alternative locations that are
available across the borough. The details of these would be provided to groups who
would be displaced from this venue should the council decide to dispose of the
12.8.10 West & North West London Vietnamese Association
12.8.11 The WNWL VA provide services to Vietnamese and Chinese communities in the
borough. Their group activities are based at other locations in the borough, with the
space at Bulwer Street primarily used for office accommodation.
12.8.12 The council believes that alternative office space can be offered to this organisation,
thus resulting in no negative impact for the community this organisation serves.
Alternative accommodation will be accessible, and therefore offers a positive impact
in terms of disability access.
12.9 Officers have considered the alternative options available to groups who currently
use the village hall on a hall hire basis to deliver their activities and services.
Research indicates there are approximately 100 halls and venues for hire in the
borough (see appendix 4), which would indicate a good range of alternative sites are
available for groups to use.
12.10 The council is looking to identify another suitable location in area for the Children’s
Centre spoke, provided by Shepherds Bush Families Project, located on the first
floor, which would offer better access and potentially with the additional benefit of
outside space, at either the nearby Edward Woods or the Charcroft estate.
12.11 There are potential risks to the organisations who currently hire the community hall if
Bulwer Street were to close (these have been considered and are detailed in
appendix 3gi). However, given that alternative halls and venues are available for
hire that existing users of the Ground floor community centre could access, that
alternative office space can be offered to the WNWL VA, plus alternative sites for
the Children’s Centre spoke have been identified, officers do not consider that this
site can realistically be retained in the current financial climate.
12.12 58 Bulwer Street is therefore declared too costly to keep and maintain and can be
released for disposal.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Decision Time

Thanks to Andy Slaughter for a "heads up" on the decision to be taken on the buildings under consideration for sale by H & F Council.

He pointed out to the Council that documents for the January meeting could not be accessed. It appears that the agenda item has now slipped to a meeting in February 2011. A decision can be expected by 7th February 2011 according to the website.


Link 1

Link 2