Full Council Meeting Discusses Community Centre’s Future

Earlier today Stoke on Trent City Council discussed issues surrounding the future of Goldenhill Community Hall/Centre at it’s full council meeting.

Sheila Sidley, Lead petitioner gave a presentation in support of the 1,000 plus petition signatures to Stoke on Trent City Council to save the community centre from closure.

Sandyford & Goldenhill Residents Association (SAGE) and the Out & About Club who are users of the centre also attended the meeting from the public gallery to support the petition.

The City Council said it was not their intention to propose closure of the community centre, although it was announced at the Sandyford & Goldenhill Residents Public Meeting by Councillor Martin Garner earlier in the year that Ruth Smeeth M.P. and he had been informed of the council’s intention to close the centre by the end of March 2017 if an asset transfer partner was not found.

At today’s meeting it was agreed the “Overview & Scrutiny Committee” would investigate the situation further where it has the power to make recommendations to the cabinet on the centre’s future.

2 comments to Full Council Meeting Discusses Community Centre’s Future

  • David Wood

    On Thursday 8th December, Sheila Sidley attended a full council meeting to plead the case for keeping the Community Centre open and operating as it has done for the past forty odd years.
    This is a transcript of her speech.
    Well done Sheila, you have done the village and community proud.
    Lord Mayor Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Sheila Sidley and my purpose today is to bring to the case against the proposed closure of Goldenhill Community Centre. When I first started the petition it was to see whether or not people would miss the centre and I think that after obtaining over 1200 signatures it is clear that they would. Goldenhill is the gateway to the city and its sad neglected appearance does nothing to enhance the reputation of the city. In the sixties the heart was ripped out of the community by the demolition of shops, houses and churches. But then, like a shining star we have our community centre, standing proudly with the lawned frontage, looking every inch that it deserves to be there. The centre has been supported by the residents and patrons for over 40 years and we would like to thank the City Council who have supported our community centre for so long. All other centres in the city are no longer run by the council, but we cannot allow that to be a lawful precedent to be used to close ours. The centre is used regularly for dancing, bingo, keep fit, toddlers, Out and About club and the slimmer’s group. All these groups have one objective to keep the community active and together as one. There is a tremendous amount of money raised from these groups for charity and all this will be lost. The centre is also used for fairs, parties, weddings, funerals and dances. It is the only purpose built facility where people can gather keeping the community together. Does the council not have a duty of care for its communities. We know that money always comes to the forefront of all decisions made, but some of the figures I have seen are questionable. If you close the Community Centre generations who have given and still give their time freely by providing a useful caring and compassionate service for their fellow men, women and children will be lost. You will be depriving these volunteers of their right to render that service. You will also take away a service which provides older sometimes lonely people with a sole purpose to struggle through the week just for a get together, it really is as simple as that.  All the groups provide essential community contact in a society which is fast becoming distant and isolated.  We the service users and volunteers respectfully request that the council reconsiders its decision. We are open to suggestion and negotiation should you wish to contact us.       

  • Eddie in Tunstall

    I watched the council meeting on the internet. It was a joke, the Tory Lord Mayor tried everything he could to try to stop Councillor Martin Garner from speaking to support the community centre. And the Tories and their mates the Independents who run the council didn’t like that he had already outed them for wasting over £112,000 on flash new decorating in the Town Hall. They have made a mess out of the community centre, nobody knows if it is staying open or closing. What a shower!

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