Future of Earby Community Centre hanging in balance

New Road Community Centre
New Road Community Centre

A DECISION is still to be made over which department at Lancashire County Council will take on the custodianship of Earby’s New Road Community Centre.

It has already been announced that youth work at the centre will be reduced to just one evening a week, with three sessions a week planned for Barnoldswick.

But with Young People’s Service staff who traditionally “manned” the Earby building to be redeployed or take voluntary redundancy, there has been a question mark over the future of the centre.

County councillor Keith Bailey said: “There is as yet no firm or agreed date for handover, though the intent is to work towards September 1st as a potential date.

“There are a small number of staff members who will leave the employ of YPS during July and August. Remaining staff will remain in post at Earby until such time as their respective redeployment arrangements are put into place. We currently anticipate this to be during September to November. YPS will seek to sustain the basic framework of existing stewarding activity at the centre for the benefit of community users until the transfer of responsibilities occurs, and to maintain continuity of the youth club evening, though other elements of the youth provision will be brought to a conclusion over the summer as staff members leave.”

Lancashire County Council has been accused of a lack of transparency over decisions about West Craven’s youth work provision. Doris Haigh, a member of the New Road Community Centre committee said she was angry they had still not received a full break down of costings for the centre. She said she was also concerned at suggestions to move the contents of Earby’s library into the centre.

She said: “That would leave a very fine and beautiful building redundant.”

Coun. David Whipp added: “To close the library and quite frankly replace it with a shoddy substitute - a few shelves in another building, would be despicable.”