Speak up about community centre closures

Saints Community Centre, Solway Road North.
Saints Community Centre, Solway Road North.

Residents who use community centres in Luton earmarked for closure are invited to give their views on the proposals.

With further budget cuts imminent, Luton Borough Council says it cannot afford to keep all 11 of the town’s community centres open, so conducted a review of the centres. The review revealed huge repair bills at Saints Community Centre and low usage of the Park Town centre.

Saints Community Centre, Solway Road North.

Saints Community Centre, Solway Road North.

As reported in the Luton News in January, the Saints centre has a high level of asbestos in the roof, as well as needing a new boiler and heating system, which together will cost £400,000. The site in Solway Road North is worth an estimated £215,000 but combined with the adjacent ‘mothballed’ Milan Day Centre could sell for £450,000.

Pam Garraway, corporate director for housing and community living said: “We have far less money to provide our service and as budget cuts are ongoing the review was important in establishing which of the town’s community centres are the most essential.

“There are a lot of potential options for the future use of Park Town Community Centre so it is important we get as much feedback as possible.

“While options are rather limited at Saints given the current state of the building, the consultation is still vital in determining the best options for current users of the centre.”

There is a private nursery operating at Park Town Centre and high demand for additional children’s services in Park Town, so the council is considering turning it into a centre for children or making it a shared community and children’s facility.

A 90-day consultation is now under way.

More information and an online survey is available at www.luton.gov.uk/currentconsultations. Paper copies are available from libraries and affected community centres, or by calling 01582 547131, and face-to-face consultations with groups are also planned.