Residents demand answers after 250 march to save St. John's Community Centre
Any talk of "consultation" would seem superfluous now after a massive 250 local residents turned out to let councillors and the London Borough of Hounslow know that we want to keep our Community Centre open.
The march, organised by the Independent Community Group (ICG) and supported by the St. John's Residents' Association, The Isleworth Society (TIS) and 32 user groups based at the Centre, at one point filled Linkfield Road from the gates of St. John's Gardens almost as far back as Loring Road. Two local councillors - Theo Dennison (Syon, one of the Lead Members responsible for presenting the Report to Cabinet proposing closure) and Ed Mayne (Isleworth, Cabinet member) - attended the protest and took the time to hear residents' concerns.
And now the attention has turned to the small matter of the £250,000 which was set aside at the 2010 Hounslow Council Budget Meeting specifically for the purpose of repairing the roof of the Centre.
When the Lead Member's Report, prepared by senior officers, was submitted to Cabinet on Tuesday, 8th November by Councillors Corinna Smart and Theo Dennison one of the reasons given for closure was the cost that would allegedly be incurred in bringing the property into full repair. Significantly, however, no mention was made of the quarter of a million pounds set aside for this very work by Borough Council in March 2010 at the insistence of the ICG.
Indeed, is the money even still there? And, if not, where has it gone and under whose authority has it been spent elsewhere (we have been assured that no member decision has been taken at any time authorising any such transfer)?
Watch this space.