York Community Centre users fight cuts

Users of the Burton Stone Community Centre have joined their counterparts in Foxwood, Chapelfields and Bell Farm in criticising Labours plans for the future of their facilities.

Burton Stone community centre future unclear

Burton Stone community centre future unclear

A petition from the York Coronary Support Trust is being considered at a decision meeting on 27th November. The petition expresses concerns that the Council plan, to outsource the management of the centre, could lead to the organisation’s 4 fitness sessions each week being interrupted.

As at other community centres around the City, Labour are planning to eliminate all support subsidies by 1st April 2015.

In the case of Burton Stone, the centre will in future by predominately used to provide “a day activity programme for over 60 adults with a learning disability and/or autism between 9:00 – 5:00 Monday & Friday”.

New LibDem Councillor Andrew Waller has been leading the campaign to have Council grants to the City’s community centres restored.

A grant of £15,000 a year to each would allow a part time caretaker to be employed, raising the possibility of increased opening hours and hence community use.

Most York Community Centre rely heavily on volunteers to manage and sustain them.

Community Centre meeting on 3rd September

The committee which runs the Foxwood Community Centre is urging residents to attend a meeting on Wednesday 3rd September which could determine the future of the Centre.

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Page 1 click to enlarge

The Centre lost its Council grant this year – part of a range of cuts to leisure provision in the City imposed by the Labour leadership.

Consequently the Centre can no longer afford to employ a caretaker.

In turn this means a big increase in the workload for a handful of volunteer committee members.

Responding to a survey on the Foxwood are,a 88% of residents said that they thought that the York Council should continue to support the centre. This may become an option again following next May’s Council elections when a change in political control – and policies – is anticipated.

However, in the interim, a difficult 9 months is in prospect for the Community Centre.

The Centre has issued a newsletter to potential volunteers but is keen for anyone with an hour or two to spare each week to attend the meeting. The Centre serves a wider area than just Foxwood with volunteers for Woodthorpe, Acomb Park and the Acomb side of the City generally, being invited to get involved.

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Page 2 click to enlarge

Details of activities taking place at the Centre – together with booking arrangements – can be found on their web site

There is some good news, with York Cares having agreed to rejuvenate the play area at the Centre, together with the Foxwood Park, when they undertake their “Big Challenge” in the neighbourhood during early October. Details here

The door to door survey has also revealed mixed feeling about the future of the play area to the rear of the Community Centre.

It is only now open when the re is an event taking place. There currently aren’t sufficient volunteers available to keep it in good condition so it may be that it will have to become a communal garden or allotments.

Details of the options are expected to be on display at the centre in early September.