Fears over the future of Louth’s Conoco Room

Eileen Ballard at the ConocoPhillips Room above Louth Library. EMN-150127-103805001
Eileen Ballard at the ConocoPhillips Room above Louth Library. EMN-150127-103805001

The chairperson of the Louth Community Association (LCA) has warned that the future of the ConocoPhillips Room above Louth Library is under threat due to rising costs.

Eileen Ballard spoke at the latest Louth Town Council meeting and said that after 23 successful years, the community room has become increasingly difficult to fund due to Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) cutting back on their contributions towards it.

In 1996 it was agreed that the LCA, a non-profit organisation, would pay 50 per cent of the expenses in running the Conoco Room, but in recent years the group has been charged the full amount.

Additional costs have been incurred due to the requirement for a caretaker to be on site whenever the room is being used out of hours, due to health 
and safety regulations.

Mrs Ballard told town councillors: “We feel that the county council has lost the spirit of the room.

“If they don’t change their minds, we could find that there’s not going to be that lovely room any more.”

Mrs Ballard said that the costs have “decimated” the LCA’s reserves and that they have had to increase the hire charges for 
the room - with some users leaving as a result.

Jonathan Platt, County Libraries and Heritage manager at LCC, said: “The council provides administrative support and caretaking for the Conoco Room, and the LCA contributes towards 
these costs.

“When we reviewed the finances last year, it was clear that managing the Conoco Room was becoming more expensive − the cost to the council was much higher than the contributions made by the LCA. We are now working with the LCA to adjust the costs appropriately.”