RESIDENTS have been urged to reject a Charity Commission scheme that would allow Ealing Council to sell off Victoria Hall as part of its town hall deal with a hotel operator.

Victoria Hall was built next to the town hall with money raised through a Victorian crowd funding campaign. It is owned by a charitable trust set up in 1893 to run the hall for the benefit of local people.

The Hall has regularly hosted meetings, entertainment and exhibitions over the years.

However, for nearly two years the council has been trying to persuade the Charity Commission to allow it to amend trust rules so Victoria Hall can be included in a £2.5m sale of the town hall site.

The Charity Commission has just published the draft of a scheme that would clear the way for this to happen, subject to the result of a public consultation due to end on December 26.

The council says it cannot afford the continued cost of repairs and maintenance of the building.

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Roger Green, chair of The Friends of Victoria Hall (FoVH), said: “Even a cursory look at the proposal shows this would be a very poor deal indeed for Ealing residents.

"They’d likely lose affordable access to facilities that have been serving the community for 126 years.

“The prospect of losing the borough’s largest indoor community space to a private company is bad enough, but the terms under which it would happen are just too soft.

“Incredibly, the council seems to be prepared to let the whole of the town hall and Victoria Hall go for less than the price of a three-bedroom flat in Dickens Yard. That can’t be right.”

The Friends are going through the fine detail of the scheme so they can lodge detailed objections.

They have requested an extension to the consultation period.