Many people in Sible Hedingham will be deeply unhappy to learn that Hedingham Sports and Social Club is closed and the site is up for sale.

This leaves the village with just one pub and one cafe - both excellent hospitality venues, but hardly the same as the club, which has two bar rooms, two snooker tables, a function hall with stage, a large kitchen, and facilities for playing pool, darts, table tennis and carpet bowls as well as cards and board games.

You now have to go to Gosfield club to play snooker or Castle club to play darts or pool.

Surely the loss of such an asset to a village of this size should be a matter of the greatest public concern?

Sadly, this does not seem to be so as far as our parish council is concerned. I wrote to them about the closure in September and did not get a response until the end of October, when I was invited to raise the matter in questions from the public at the November meeting.

When I did so, I was told by the chairman they would not be discussing it as it was a private club and of no interest to the council.

When a previous attempt to close the club was made in 2013, the then constituted council took a very different attitude and their support for the membership was invaluable.

One can only hope our current elected representatives will yet think the club a village asset worth fighting for.

It matters because pubs and clubs are a vital part of what makes a village a community - places where friends, family and neighbours can meet and socialise.

The alternative is to become a dormitory town where residents travel to work each day in Braintree, Chelmsford, Cambridge or even London, then come home at night to sleep, but take no interest in village life - or what will be left of it when our pubs and clubs are gone.

Is that the future we want for Sible Hedingham?

D W Hilsden

Brook Terrace

Sible Hedingham