Meeting over future of Earby community centre

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MEMBERS of the New Road Community Centre Association will meet on Monday with the part of Lancashire County Council set to take on custodianship of the building from September 1st.

The Property Group will take over the management of the building after the Young People’s Service (YPS) withdraws its staff on August 31st.

Lancashire County Council has said it will ensure community facilities remain in the town. But there are lingering questions over the future of the centre beyond September 1st as Head of YPS Rod Norton told the Community Centre Association that in the long-term there may be consultations with user groups over the possibility of transferring activities to other premises in the town, or even transferring the building to the ownership of voluntary or community groups. He added: “The principle would always be for community facilities to remain available in the area and for any change to be through consultation with user groups.”

Community Centre Association chairman David Hartley said more details should come to light at the meeting on Monday. He said: “In the short-term I can’t see them not wanting to keep the building, but who knows in the long-term; there might be some wiggle room.”

Fellow trustee of the centre, Doris Haigh said she was angry with the way decisions had been made. “We found out staff were set to leave at the end of August when the staff themselves thought they were there until the end of September. And they dismantled the outdoor play equipment at the centre without any consultation with the people who raised the money for it in the first place. We have no idea what has happened to the equipment, but it could have been offered to a local school.

“We will hopefully be discussing ‘what if’ scenarios on Monday but we would like to think the council will support us.”