HC Deb 21 March 1923 vol 161 c2606W

asked the Minister of Agriculture if the Kent Agricultural Committee had, under Section 8 (4) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Act, 1919, made such inquiries in the County of Kent as appear to them desirable with a view to formulating schemes for the development of rural industries and social life in rural places; and, if so, how many villages have a village hall and how many expressed a desire to have a village hall or club or meetings to hear how such could be established?


The committee have made the inquiries referred to, and have furnished the Ministry with a summary of the replies. Out of the 256 parish councils that replied, 203 stated that there was a hall or room available for public meetings in the parish, subject in a few cases to limitations of the nature of which I am not aware. In 127 parishes there was stated to be a club, institute or reading room. In four cases the need of a public hall was emphasised, while in 30 instances it was stated that a public meeting to start a men's club or women's institute would be welcomed. I may add that the reports or summaries furnished to the Ministry by county agricultural committees as the result of their inquiries on this subject are forwarded to various bodies such as the National Federation of Women's Institutes, the Village Clubs Association, and the Rural Industries Intelligence Bureau, in order that, if possible, steps may be taken to meet the needs which are shown to exist in the various counties.