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£1.8m plan to repair commmunity centres
A £1.8m backlog of maintenance and repairs at Oxford’s community centres could be cleared by 2018.
Oxford City Council has identified work which needs to be carried out to repair and upgrade 20 of the city’s community centres.
Proposed work could include upgrades to the buildings and internal and external alterations.
The improvements have been welcomed at centres across the city, including the Asian Cultural Centre in Manzil Way, which could benefit from investment of £101,270.
Centre vice-chairman Velu Vesudevan said: “There are lots of problems because it’s an old building.
“We need quite a lot of work to be done.
“I would like some new chairs for a start because the ones we have now are very old.
“We would also like a proper stage with nice curtains.
“We’ve approached the council so many times but their budget wasn’t very good for a while so they had to postpone the work.
“I think it’s good that they’re going to spend this money.”
If the plans are approved, the largest investment will be £290,030 at Blackbird Leys Community Centre.
Leys city and county councillor Val Smith said: “I haven’t seen the documents, but it sounds ok to me. If they’re going to spend money on it I’m happy with that.”
And £225,000 could be spent on work at East Oxford Community Centre, but trustee Sarah Lasenby said she wasn’t holding her breath.
She said: “We know from experience that each year the work gets put off, and I would say it’s possible that the reason the bills are so high now is because it hasn’t been done in the past.
“So we welcome this, it’s obviously good that they’re thinking about it, but it would be really good to see it happen.”
The council’s communities and partnerships scrutiny committee will look at the proposals in detail on Wednesday.
A report to the committee said: “In 2011/12 the city council commissioned a complete review of the condition of all of our non-housing properties in order to update our information on their current condition and future maintenance liabilities. Part of the work of this review was to inspect all community centres.
“The condition surveys have resulted in a huge amount of detailed information on outstanding and future maintenance requirements over the coming five to six years.”
It said detailed consultations would be carried out with the operators of the centres if the proposals are approved.
Council executive member for finance Ed Turner said: “We’re talking about quite a long- standing situation where community centres haven’t been maintained quite as well as they should have been. For some time, one of our ambitions has been to get on top of that backlog and make sure they’re fit for purpose.”
The committee will not make the final decision on the proposals, but can make recommendations which will be considered by the executive board when it discusses the plans later this year.
- Asian Cultural Centre £101,270
- Barton Centre £34,500
- Blackbird Leys Community Centre £290,030
- Bullingdon Community Centre £65,920
- Cutteslowe Community Centre £71,800
- Cutteslowe Pavilion Community Centre £24,240
- Donnington Community Centre £101,200
- East Oxford Community Centre £225,000
- East Oxford Games Hall £132,560
- Ferry Community Centre £5,400
- Florence Park Community Centre £187,000
- Headington Community Centre £31,900
- Jericho Community Centre £54,602
- Jubilee 77 Community Centre £87,700
- Littlemore Community Centre £30,725
- Regal Community Centre £158,607
- Risinghurst Community Centre £63,950
- Rose Hill Community Centre £10,000
- South Oxford Community Centre £120,200
- West Oxford Community Centre £16,595
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