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I suspect that the government spending review and the reduction in grants to local councils and other statutory bodies has not escaped your notice! It has been big news for some time now.

In Dorset there will be implications across all aspects of public service delivery and that has encouraged Dorset Community Action to restructure its own service delivery procedures and that includes how we support village halls. We have reviewed the demands on the Village & Community Halls Advisory Service over the last two years and we have concluded that instead of a part-time ‘specialist’ worker  we can deliver a more localised, but equally effective, service through our team of full time local community workers. The nature of enquiries we receive from halls is not vastly different to those received from other community groups.

One of the most important roles of the Village and Community Halls Adviser was to administer the Capital Grants programme for Village Halls but Dorset County Council has now withdrawn that scheme as part of its spending review thus reducing further the need for someone in this post.

As a result, I will be retiring at the end of March 2011 and during the interim we will conduct a controlled transfer of responsibilities to the community work team. We will have more news on how we will deliver the other support services we offer to halls early in the New Year.