Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Does Eynesbury "need" a community centre?

As someone who lives in Eynesbury I thought I would ask the question: "Does Eynesbury "need" a community centre? The answer I feel is NO!

What reasons are there for a community centre?
Well other parts of St Neots have community centres. Eaton Ford has the new ECC. Eaton Socon has Jubilee Hall. St Neots, itself, has The Priory Centre and the new areas will get at least two centres. The argument goes Eynesbury needs a Community Centre. That in itself is not an argument for a Community Centre. That is the politics of envy.

Where is the demand?
I see no demand amongst residents for a community centre. I cannot find an on-going campaign for a community centre. EVA isn't campaigning for one on their website. Nor is the Eynesbury Manor Association.

Why do some Councillors feel we need one?
Town and District Councillor Steve van de Kerkhove says:
Yes there has been talk. But just that - talk. But talk isn't demand. Eynesbury needs to demand and wants to pay for a community centre. Neither are there.

Another Town and District Councillor Barry Chapman comes in with this gem:
Barry "thinks" there is a need. Where is the evidence? Just because the town is expanding to the east it doesn't mean there is a need. With an extra 220 properties being built behind Tesco there may be a need but this isn't evidenced.

What will a Community Centre cost?
The Town Council had the grandiose scheme of the Eatons Community Centre which cost £1.2 million. A Community Centre on the same scale would cost about £1.5 million. Accounting for minimal inflation of say 3% the £60,000 put aside would only account for inflation for this year.

Where would it be located?
That is the big question. I have no idea where a community centre would be built. Do our Town Councillors have any idea?

Time and again the idea of a Community Centre for Eynesbury is raised. There are no plans, no land and a minimal amount of money available. In 2011 the Town Council is up for election. I feel the ruling Liberal Democrats are using this for electoral advantage. I just wonder whether the £60,000 would be better put to use elsewhere.

1 comment:

Steven said...

Having been involved in various organisations in Eynesbury I know of the difficulty in finding places to meet. Eynesbury also lacks a focal point for community events.
The location is an interesting point since there is no where really suitable, however, as part of the eastern expansion something could be created benefitting Eynesbury and the new part of town on the edge of Eynesbury. This could also benefit from section 106 money from the future development. Any new centre would need to be fitted out and this would probably fall to SNTC. The money would mean we are prepared for this eventuality.
Both EVA and ENMAG support the need for a community centre. I also fully support it, however, it is a long term goal and will probably not happen for at least five years.
WHat the money does say is that SNTC is serious about providing something in the future and is a positive first step for the residents of Eynesbury.
Steve van de Kerkhove