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Petition convinces council to reconsider community centre move

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

A petition to save Maidenhead Community Centre (MCC) has convinced the council to reconsider its decision to move the centre to a smaller temporary location.

The community centre, currently in York Road, is earmarked for relocation as part of the Royal Borough’s regeneration of the town centre.

Earlier this year, before the pandemic, a petition was started to stop the community centre from being moved to ‘an inadequate temporary site’.

The suggested temporary location was the Desborough Suite in the Town Hall, which is significantly smaller than the York Road site.

The petition to stop the move garnered nearly 1,600 signatures – 100 more than is needed to spark a meeting of the full council.

This meeting is set for Monday, September 28, with online access via YouTube. It will include 30 minutes for public questions and 30 minutes to debate the petition, including an address from petition leader Jack Douglas.

The centre trustees say they have been told they are going to be offered another venue, although a formal written offer has not yet been made.

“We’re very happy that we’re not now going to be turfed out [and face] a big reduction in space,” said Mr Douglas.

“I don’t think we’d be anywhere if it wasn’t for the petition, so anyone who signed it can take full credit for the fact that the community centre is going to exist next year.”

MCC has been hit hard by COVID-19, with several clubs and activities needing to be halted or moved online, and with recent Government guidelines ‘constantly changing’.

Mr Douglas said this was a particular worry when everyone thought this might be the last year the centre would have a venue.

Now the council is reconsidering the move, he is optimistic for the future.

“We’ll be in it for the long haul and we can start building up again when the pandemic is over,” said Mr Douglas.

“The council has decided to protect our services, so now our job is to work hard to prove their faith in us, get [the centre] up to full occupancy and really serve the community.”

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