Dromara groups forced to consider moving home, thanks to a rise in Lagan Park Centre hire costs, are waiting to hear if a compromise offer will get the nod.
It’s understood a number of the groups concerned have offered to pay an, as yet unspecified, hourly rate which falls short of the £15 sought by the local community group administering the hall but exceeds the £10 groups have paid to date.
The offer is believed to have been discussed at a recent meeting between community group officers, a number of local councillors and representatives of hall-users, the Dromara Local History Group, The Art Club, Bums and Tums and the Thursday Club.
For now though, the stalemate stands, and there was frustration among hall-users that the community group couldn’t offer a decision on the compromise but would have to discuss it with its committee early next month. A source within one of the groups said the general concensus was that the community group officers “knew why they were there” and had known the groups’ position since May.
Therefore , the groups believe, they could, and should, have discussed it with the committee to be in a position to answer the offer one way or another.
For those groups with seasonal programmes, due to resume in coming weeks after the summer break, the delay in a decision from the community group has the potential to disrupt scheduling, given the attendant doubt it casts over where, when or indeed if the groups can resume meeting as planned.
The Leader reported in recent weeks that if nothing could be done to offset the price-hike from £10 to £15 an hour, one or more of the groups concerned would be looking for somewhere else to meet.
That would appear to remain the position among groups who do not want to move from the centre they call home, but insist they will have no choice.