BOLSOVER DISTRICT: Community centres face closure

ndet 23-10-12 mc 37'Bolsover's Community House on Hyndley Road
ndet 23-10-12 mc 37'Bolsover's Community House on Hyndley Road

THREE community centres could be closed down, according to a Bolsover District Councillor, unless a parish council or voluntary organisation is willing to step in and fund the facilities.

Bolsover District Council confirmed last year that the Community Houses in Bolsover, New Houghton and South Normanton had come under consideration with an assessment of all its services as part of a money-saving review.

District Cllr Duncan Kerr, of the Green Party, has been campaigning to keep the centres open because he feels they are needed even more during difficult economic times and he has urged residents to object to any possible closures.

He said: “I have visited all three Community Houses and spoken to residents who tell me how much these facilities are appreciated by the poorest and most disadvantaged.”

However, the council has explained that it is among the worst affected councils in the country following Government cuts and it has had to review all its services and the provision of the Community Houses has been included in that process.

The council’s Safe and Inclusive Scrutiny Committee has called the matter in for further discussion before any final decision.

It is considering recommendations the Castle Estate centre be returned to the landlord, the South Normanton centre be closed and rented as council property and that the New Houghton centre be closed and the site’s future use should be reconsidered. It has also been recommended that council project workers develop a plan for future neighbourhood management.

A council review found that demand has fallen for the Community Houses and pressures on budgets has created a need to identify savings.