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A COMMUNITY council in the Swansea Valley said claims that groups which used the community hall were being forced to move out were not correct.

Clydach Community Council also dismissed a rumour on social media that the building, on Vardre Road, would close and be replaced by flats.

Clydach resident Joy Thomas, who attends a Slimming World group, claimed the group was given two weeks’ notice to leave the community hall and relocate to the town’s Forge Fach Community Resource Centre.

Other groups, she claimed, were told they had to relocate – and she set up a petition to oppose this.

Ms Thomas also felt that Forge Fach was less suitable for groups because it wasn’t as central as the community hall, had insufficient parking and lighting, dark and damp rooms, and was in spot where anti-social behaviour occurred.

According to Ms Thomas, Slimming World’s last session at the community hall is on April 27 – and she has written to her MP Tonia Antoniazzi seeking support.

In response the community council said users of the community hall were invited several months ago to book sessions at Forge Fach and told they could have first refusal on spaces to hire.

“A rumour circulated on social media that the community hall was going to be knocked down, and flats were going to be built there, and the car park to the side would be removed,” said the council. “All completely false. The community council has around 66 years remaining on the 99-year lease for the community hall and has no plans to close it.

“Despite a letter being given to users and numerous conversations taking place, these rumours are continuing to circulate. No groups have been forced to move to Forge Fach at all and the majority are remaining at the community hall.”

On the claims about Forge Fach itself, which recently came under the control of the community council, it said:

“There is currently an element of anti-social behaviour, but the community council has plans to reduce this drastically over the coming months with investment in security and other measures to discourage this behaviour.

“As for car parking, whilst the car park for the community hall is larger, it is shared by the doctor’s surgery, chemist staff and customers, nearby pub, dentist staff and customers, and customers for the nearby coffee shop. Forge Fach has exclusive use for those using it or the play area.”

It said that the rooms were not dark or damp, and added:

“The lighting is one of the priority measures being addressed as broken lamppost lights have not been repaired or replaced over the years.”

Forge Fach was built by a development trust  nine years ago but is now owned by Swansea Council.

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