1,200 join Facebook campaign to save Brynmawr's Market Hall Cinema
9:54pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
MORE than 1,200 people have joined a Facebook group protesting the proposed closure of Brynmawr's Market Hall Cinema.
Angry Blaenau Gwent residents have also created an online petition to keep the cinema open, which already has more than 450 signatures since it was started on February 1.
The cinema and Nantyglo Leisure Centre are both at risk of closure due to council budget cuts, to help address Blaenau Gwent Council's £3.9 million budget deficit.
On the Facebook Page, "Save our Market Hall Brynmawr from our unfeeling Council" Allyson Evans Goodwin wrote: "The way things are going you might as well take Brynmawr off the map and shut up shop. It'll be a ghost town before long."
Dawn Phillips said: "We are all upset and annoyed that Blaenau Gwent Council wants to get rid of our cinema and Nantyglo Leisure Centre.
There's no thought for the people of Brynmawr and Nantyglo, whose council tax goes to Ebbw Vale. It's disgusting."
Brynmawr Town Council has announced it plans to fight the proposals Steve Bartlett, clerk for Nantyglo and Blaina Town Council said: "The town council decided we will also be fighting the closure of the cinema and leisure centre.
"They are both local facilities which are well used and of benefit to the community. We have compared our prices with some of the nearby cinemas, and have worked out it will cost more than £20 for a family trip to the cinema. At Brynmawr cinema it would be just £13.
"It would be detrimental to the community of Blaenau Gwent to close either."
Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, said: "Local people are concerned about this news, so I've written to the Chief Executive of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.
"I've asked for important data about usage, exactly what the council is proposing, how the finances are stacking up and alternative uses. These are some of the key questions which constituents have brought to me."
A Blaenau Gwent Council spokeswoman said: "The Council's funding from the Welsh Government for 2013/2014 is much lower than anticipated.
"In addition, the Council has outlined schools and front line Social Services as its main priorities. This means that all other services will have to meet much higher savings targets. "A range of options are being considered. No decisions have been made on anything. We are asking local people on a number of options and will consider all views, before any specific actions are announced."