5:50pm Tuesday 13th November 2012
By Emma Harrison
RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on how a new community centre in Rose Hill could look.
And a host of family activities will be on offer while people on the estate cast their vote on the centre’s future.
Live music, a balloon modeller, face painting and a Xbox competition will be among the entertainment at Rose Hill Community Centre in The Oval on Saturday.
Residents are being asked to decide whether they would prefer the existing community centre revamped or a new one.
Their views will help inform Oxford City Council’s executive board discussions on Wednesday, December 19.
Architect’s plans for both options will be on display at the fun day and the architect, councillors and city council officers will be on hand to answer questions.
Fran Gardner, Rose Hill community worker, urged residents to attend the day to make their choice.
She said: “This is for the future of Rose Hill and future generations as well. That is why it is so important that people do come in that day and look at the plans, make their choice and think about what their children will be able to experience in years to come.”
Ray James, 65, chairman of the Rose Hill Tenants and Residents’ Association, said his personal choice was for a new community centre.
He said: “I believe the existing community centre’s life is expired.
“Also the land is planned for additional housing – there is a shortage of social housing in Oxford and this would be one of the benefits to the estate.”
Mr James said he was impressed with the plans for the new centre and added: “I want people to be open-minded and make a decision having seen the proposals.”
A new community centre would bring several services under one roof including the social club, advice centre, sports pavilion and youth club and could be built by 2015 on a site in Ashhurst Way beside the Co-operative Nursery.
The existing community centre could be used to provide housing, including affordable homes, but if it is refurbished, the pavilion and advice centre would remain where they are.
Plans for refurbishing the building would improve accessibility, upgrade the toilet facilities and heating, replace some flooring and repair the roof.
City council deputy leader and Rose Hill ward councillor Ed Turner said: “Community centres play a big part in the lives of residents across the city and this event offers residents the chance to play a big part in the future of their community centre.
“Rose Hill residents have a fantastic opportunity to be involved in making sure that investment in local community facilities reflects what local people want.
“By including free activities and entertainment, we want to encourage as many people as possible to come along, make their choice and really come together as a community.”
All Rose Hill residents who live in the community centre’s area aged 11 and over can choose their preference on Saturday, November 17.
Children aged between eight and 11 who are pupils at Rose Hill Primary School will make their choice in dedicated teaching sessions before the event.
They will be shown the plans and talked through each option before they choose their preferred option individually.
Residents who are already registered on the electoral roll will be given a ballot slip by a member of staff.
Residents who are not already registered on the electoral roll can still make a choice by providing their details on the day. The ballot will be counted on Friday, November 23, at the Town Hall.
The fun day will take place from 10am to 8pm.
Free entertainment includes:
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