Hundreds sign petition to keep St Mellons community centre open

August 22, 2012 1 Comment »

Three-year-old Chloe Swambo, who uses St Mellons Community Centre every day, sits among the hundreds of signatures on a petition to keep the centre open.

Hundreds of residents have signed a petition demanding that a busy community centre stays open.

Families in St Mellons, Cardiff, fear their community education centre could close – but Cardiff Council has said it has no plans to shut it down.

Users of the centre range from pensioners to after-school clubs and those who are striving to get back to work.

More than 600 people have signed a petition to try to secure its future and many have sent letters to local councillors asking for support.

The centre, on Crickhowell Road, is open during the day when it provides a drop-in centre for young people who are out of work, a creche, an after-school club, adult learning courses and coffee mornings for the elderly.

Amanda Stacey, 30, who lives five minutes away from the centre, said she had heard it was going to close.

“Since I’ve heard the centre was going to close in the daytime I’ve been walking around with a petition,” she said. “There are two members of staff who work at the Intro Project, which is for youngsters not in employment or education, and we’ve been told there’s no funding for their sessions any more so we’ll be losing them.

“Without those staff members there the centre can’t stay open – because there won’t be any staff there.

“There are courses there to help people get back to work. I’ve done a computer and childcare course and learnt Welsh.”

A Cardiff council spokeswoman said: “Cardiff council has no plans to close St Mellons Community Centre and has not withdrawn any core funding. There appear to have been some concerns by local people using the centre after they became aware that sources of external funding for projects run at the centre are to undergo changes.

“These concerns have also been raised with ward members who are working closely with residents and officers to address the issue.”

Twenty-three-year-old Karl Ramsey said he found work on the railway after a course at the centre and said it needed to remain open for others.

Karl said: “If the centre shuts there’ll be nowhere for young people to go, and the area might slip back to the way it used to be.”

Elaine Guymer, who attends the coffee mornings, added: “The centre is at the heart of the community. For some of the friends I’ve made, it’s the only time they’ll leave the house.”

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One Comment

  1. MR GREENWAY August 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Well you lot voted these people in and boy are we going to pay for that.Cut backs in every way they have to justify their pay increases and get the money from some where.Some thing will happen and it is always the council estates that feel the brunt .

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