Lynne Featherstone MP steps in as Council tries to close Community Centre

Lynne Featherstone MPLynne Featherstone MP has today made urgent contact with Labour-run Haringey Council, after a resident informed her of the pending closure of the Burghley Road under 5’s Community Centre.

In March, the Trustee of the Centre had written to the Council, expressing a desire to return the building. He did this, however, without consulting the management team.

The team at the Centre acted quickly, putting new trustees in place, securing the Charity Commissions’ consent to continue as a charity, and agreeing a new funding arrangement with Haringey Council’s Childcare and Early Years Department until 2015.

The Community Centre management then received a letter on the 3rd May from Haringey Council’s Property Services department, informing them that they needed to vacate the property by Monday 13th May.

In a strongly worded email, the Liberal Democrat MP has demanded answers from the Council, particularly whether Property Services will withdraw their demand to vacate the property.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“I am shocked at the way this issue has been handled by Haringey Council’s Property Services. There has clearly been no communication with the Early Years Department, who agreed to fund the Centre until 2015. The Centre performs a vital role in the local community, accommodating up to 200 children.

“The stripping of a resource such as this from the local area would constitute a great loss for local residents and create a huge gap in local childcare.

“No consideration seems to have been given regarding the value of the Centre to the local community. And finally, 10 days is a completely unrealistic amount of time for the task of shutting down a Centre that has been in place for a great number of years.

“I have asked some tough questions of the Council and requested that any action against the Centre is suspended until I receive a full response to the questions raised. I will keep residents updated with any further developments.”