[community centres] Community Buildings and Centres: New Council Review + Urgent Meeting Thurs 18th July

Dave Morris davetottenham at googlemail.com
Mon Jul 15 11:38:20 BST 2019


Hi all

This is a reminder of this important meeting. Please reply to confirm if 
someone from your centre can come or not..   thanks!


*Community Buildings and Centres: New Council Review*

*Important Meeting for all community-run Community Centres in Council 
buildings*

*Thursday 18th July, 4pm-5.30pm*

At Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec, N17 6NU (by the lake in the middle of the 
park).

Please can each such centre send a rep (eg member of staff, trustee, 
volunteer or user group rep) to this vital meeting?!


Hi all

Reps from a number of community-run community centres in Council 
buildings attended a Voluntary and Community Sector Forum meeting last 
week. Centres present included: Jan Trust, Markfield Centre, Selby 
Trust, Irish Centre, Lordship Hub, West Indian Cultural Centre, Hornsey 
Vale Community Centre, Eric Allin Centre and Chestnuts Community Centre.

There we learned that the Council has proposed a new Review of its 
policies on our rents, leases, services, support etc. Haringey Community 
Centres Network leaflets were distributed to all, calling for affordable 
rents, long term leases and security, and a positive partnership 
approach from the Council. These calls, and the creation of the HCCN 
itself, grew originally out of disbelief and disgust with the policies 
hostile to community centres implemented after the previous Council 
review 4 or 5 years ago (ie threats of market rents and short leases for 
all)

A few copies of a powerpoint document were made available (attached) as 
Charlotte Pomery speedily went through it on screen. She said it was 
just a first 'proposal' and the Council was looking for feedback and 
amendments. I talked about celebrating the invaluable work of community 
centres, and explained the role of HCCN, and what we've been saying is 
really needed by the sector. Other centre reps highlighted some of their 
needs and concerns. Some of the following points were made about the 
draft document (despite it not being made available to us in advance, or 
to most attendees at the event):

Some potential positives:

- recognition (in some circumstances) that leases need to be long (max 
25yrs) where linked to external investment

- recognition (in some circumstances) of the importance of measuring 
against rent the 'community value' and services provided

Some amendments urgently needed before any further distribution of document:

-  'community impact' and 'community value' needs to be defined in 
discussion with the sector, and should include measuring inward 
investment, volunteering, affordable hire rates, and promotion of social 
self-organisation and cohesion etc

- alternative uses for existing sites (eg housing) should not have 
'primacy over a solely community use'

- there should be a 'right to renew' at the end of any lease term

- new community leases should not be dependent on facilities being 
'available for the wider community 24/7'.


In the light of this we have arranged this urgent HCCN meeting of all 
community-run community centres to discuss the situation. We suggest we 
then arrange to meet up with the revant Council people asap to discuss 
our collective concerns and proposals.


best wishes

Dave Morris - Lordship Rec Hub

Sarah Miller, Markfield Centre


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