Woman banned from Gloucestershire village hall after asking if it should become a warm space
A woman has been banned from entering her village hall after asking if it could become a warm space.
Cheryl Agg, from Woodmancote, Gloucestershire, was shocked to find out she had been the subject of a secret code of conduct hearing over a Facebook post she made in November.
She received a letter from the Woodmancote Village Hall committee stating that she would not be allowed to set foot into the building for three months from 1 January.
However, there is one exception, she can attend the parish council meetings which are held there as she is a parish councillor.
But she is forbidden from attending any other events at the hall in Bushcombe Lane or its grounds. Even social gatherings such as birthday parties are out of bounds.
The letter says a number of the committee members asked for her “recent conduct and activities” to be added to the agenda of their 17 December meeting.
The committee members said they were “shocked” by a Facebook post she made in which she asked what residents thought about the possibility of using the village hall as a warm space for people struggling to heat their homes this winter as grants for such a scheme were available at Tewkesbury Borough Council.
“This was quite a surprise, indeed a shock, to many of us as none of us were aware of any contact to ascertain whether the premises were indeed a suitable place under this scheme,” the letter reads.
“When the warm spaces scheme was made known to us, we had discussed it briefly amongst ourselves and we immediately saw that the village hall was not, nor could be, suitable in its current form."
She added: “While we fully support the principle of the scheme, Woodmancote Village Hall is most definitely not an appropriate place in any way.
"Our principal issue with this post is that it is likely to potentially cause harm to frail villagers who are in need of support.
“It is also likely to bring the village hall, the village hall committee and indeed the parish council into disrepute when it is found not to be open to them.
"It is likely to cause a lot of anger and possibly serious reactions against the village hall building, the village hall committee and most likely adverse comments to yourself.”
“It came as a complete surprise"
Mrs Agg, who is not a committee member, said was shocked to find out she had been the subject of a code of conduct investigation.
She said: “It came as a complete surprise. We are a community, I don’t understand how the code of conduct brings people together.
“I find it rather divisive. To be honest, I’m not speaking out about this for me. It’s for any other poor soul who gets caught up in this.
“You might not be able to take your grandchild to the recreation ground or you might not be able to go and watch them playing cricket on a Sunday in the summer.
"It’s so divisive and I don’t understand what it is they want to achieve.”
Woodmancote Village Hall Committee and the parish council have been approached for further comment.
Story credit: Carmelo Garcia, Local Democracy Reporting Service
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