A NEW Paddocks Community Centre could save the council more than £100,000 per year.

A council report out this week about the future of the centre revealed demolishing the hall would cost £4.3million while refurbishment would cost £4.1million.

However, a new building would cost Castle Point Council less to maintain and would make more money.

Next week the council’s cabinet will decide whether to remodel or rebuild the centre before then consulting residents.

Council leader Norman Smith said: “We will look at all the information from our officers and the decision will be made at the cabinet meeting, considering all the options that are available to us.

“Whatever the decision that is made, the public will be fully consulted on that.”

Sue Brooke, a campaigner who protested against demolition of the Paddocks at the weekend, feels the loss of the large hall would be damaging to Canvey as a community.

She said: “A new hall would mean venues take priority, therefore displacing many clubs and activities that currently use the hall.

“These would seek a more permanent venues and the council will lose revenue.”

Council research however revealed the largest hall is often less than 20 per cent full even when it is in use.

The centre currently costs the council £89,000 per year and if nothing is done the maintenance cost will rise to £110,000 each year.

A new hall, when you add the money coming in and the costs, will save the council £105,000 each year, according to the report.

Karen Howe, 38, of Tantelen Road, has used the centre throughout her life and feels refurbishment would be the most beneficial decision for The Paddocks.

She said: “The rebuild costs £4.3million and refurbishment costs £4.1million.

“I cannot really see how that works.

“It is run down in places, it needs new toilets and the carpets may need replacing in places.

“I’m sure if they went out and asked the community, we would be happy to go there with a paintbrush and do it ourselves.”

If the hall is refurbished, the work would include an improved or new entrance, new office, lift access, a new bar, better stage facilities and new stairs.

New meeting rooms would also be planned. A new facility could open up “the venue’s commercial potential”.