THE trustees of the Liphook Millennium Hall are demanding a public apology from Bramshott and Liphook parish councillors following accusations of financial irregularities.

Chairman of the trustees Frank Conroy was furious when he returned home from France two weeks ago to discover that the police were making inquiries into the finances at the hall.

These followed a complaint made to Whitehill police by parish clerk Tony Groves and his deputy Anne Haussauer on the instructions of the chairman of the parish council, Jim Walters, and the chairman of the finance and general purposes committee, Peter Williams.

But after preliminary investigations, the police dropped the matter and this week Mr Conroy has received a letter from the police confirming there was no case to answer.

Sgt Howard Lovegrove told Mr Conroy: "I made some inquiries with key members of the millennium hall committee and the leasing company regarding the hiring of catering equipment within your premises."

He said he believed there was "no evidence of any dishonesty shown nor can I find any reason for an individual to gain from such a transaction except the elderly for whom heated meals are provided".

He added "Therefore the investigation of these circumstances is now closed."

But Sgt Lovegrove added: "I would like to encourage both you and Liphook and Bramshott Parish Council to engage in dialogue with one another to overcome any future problems."

After the receipt of the letter Mr Conroy said the trustees were lifting the ban on parish clerk Tony Groves, who was barred from the hall after the latest incident which has brought relations between community leaders in Liphook to a new low.

Mr Conroy told The Herald: "We are now looking for a way of re-establishing contact with the council so that we can get back round the table and settle the long debate over the agreement of a lease for the hall which has been operating for around three years without one."

He said he believed negotiations could be reopened if the chairman of the parish council gave a full public apology and retraction of the accusations which police had now reported were unfounded.

Chairman of the parish council Jim Walters told The Herald that Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council is holding a special meeting today (Friday) to discuss the Millennium Hall.

Chairman of the parish council Jim Walters told The Herald:" I can't comment on the request for an apology because we have not receved one from the trustees."