07 AUG 2017

Joining the fight to save Hougham village hall

The West Hougham community is fighting to raise up to £15,000 to save their village hall.

Villagers feared the building, which dates back to the 1930s, would be sold off due to a lack of use.

But after losing their village pub, post office, and bus service in recent years, residents rallied together to fight to save the hall.

In June the community formed an action group called Heart of Hougham – and the hall now has regular parties and functions. It also hosts tennis and gardening clubs and regular yoga and Zumba classes.

Heart of Hougham organisers invited me to visit the hall and offer advice on how to get funding to restore it.

I said I would back a bid for funding from the National Lottery. I have also written to Dover District Council asking if there is any cash available to help.

I was delighted to visit West Hougham village hall. It's a fantastic building and it's great to see it back in use again. We must do all we can to keep it running.

What impressed me most was the incredible community spirit in the village. They have rallied together and shown that people power really can make a difference.

It's exactly the sort of project the National Lottery should be backing. And Dover District Council should also see what they can do to help.

Residents also raised the issue of infuriatingly slow broadband speeds in the village. Mr Elphicke has taken up their case and written to BT and Kent County Council urging them to swiftly boost broadband in the area.

West Hougham village fete, organised by Heart of Hougham, will be held on the village green from 1pm on Saturday, September 16th.

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Charlie Elphicke

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