Monday, 11 March 2013

Cambridge City Lib Dems Work To Safeguard City’s Community Centres

Cllr Mike Pitt
(LD, West Chesterton)

Residents are being encouraged to take responsibility for Cambridge’s community centres as the city council looks at ways to protect their future against a backdrop of budget pressures.

A major review of the centres by the Liberal Democrat-led city council has identified ways to increase income and get residents and centre users involved in their running.

Residents groups have taken responsibility for Trumpington Pavilion and for the centre in Lawrence Way, and soon Nuns Way pavilion in King’s Hedges. It is hoped other users will get more involved in the running of the city centres at all levels.  The city’s five main community centres clock up around 130,000 visits a year.

The council has also put its children’s summer playscheme, ChYpPS on a secure footing with a three year business plan following a review which sought the views of young people and parents.

And the council’s Community Development Grants priorities have been given full backing.

In the last three years £1.33 million from developer contributions has been spent or committed on projects to improve community facilities owned by voluntary or faith groups.

Mike Pitt, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Community Development said: “We are determined that the community facilities we provide and the help we give to voluntary groups and other organisations to run those facilities will not suffer as a result of this tough financial climate.

“While other councils are shutting down or privatising their centres, closing down playschemes and cutting back on grant programmes, we know how important they are and we are determined that we will remain committed and find ways to fund them.

“That is why we carried out reviews of these services to make sure we can put secure them for the future and, in the case of the community centres, encourage residents and users to get more involved.”