Future of community centres

CABINET members at Bassetlaw Council are to debate the future of its community centres at its 7pm meeting next week on Tuesday 5th July.

Members will meet at Worksop Town Hall to discuss a review of usage, costs and ongoing management of various centres across Worksop.

The report also explores the need for significant investment in all centres to meet agreed fire safety standards.

It is envisaged that work will start immediately on centres operating with health income and usage levels, if the appropriate funding is agreed.

These centres are likely to be Balmoral, Beeches, Crown Place, Kilton Forest, Thievesdale and Westhill plus contingency and minor works at a total cost of £64,000.

Director of community services Mark Ladyman said this been an ongoing issue since 2008.

“What we are proposing is a review of the current management and charging arrangements of our existing centres to stimulate more use and to fully realise their potential,” he said.

“We will be carrying out extensive consultation with centre users, especially those centres where it obvious that they are currently under utilised. The report also calls for capital investment in the infrastructure of a number of community centres.”

It is also proposed that a review is carried out into the centres with low usage and will include discussions with user groups and local stakeholders on how this can be improved.

Under the spotlight for this review will be Beverley Road and Devonshire Road, Harworth, Cleveland Close, Carlton, Kingston Road, Manton, Laburnum Road, Costhorpe and Rayton Spur, Worksop.

A council spokesman said one key area that needs addressing is the current provision of free use of the centres for individual groups.

Currently the first two hours for organised senior citizen groups is free of charge and to qualify all off people attending are aged 60 or over and the group comprises at least 50 per cent of council tenants.

He said: “Clearly this policy has a negative impact upon the amount of income each centre can raise.”

“This is inequitable since all other groups have to pay the agreed current charges. Given this arrangment the council could be open to challenge and therefore needs to be addressed.”