Campaigners hoping to save their local community centre from the hands of developers have this week handed in a petition to the council.
1257 signatures have been collected by the Save Haywood Road Community Centre group and the petition was handed to the leader of Gedling Borough Council, Cllr John Clarke on Thursday.
The petition was started in a bid to try and save Haywood Road Community Centre, in Haywood Road, Mapperley, from closure after it was announced the land could be sold off to housing developers to help raise much needed funds for Gedling Borough Council.
Since the proposals were announced, The Save Haywood Road Community Centre group has leafleted thousands of houses in the area to make them aware of the proposed sale, created a website, ran a successful social media campaign and organised a ‘Party & Protest’ event, as well as standing on Mapperley Top taking signatures for the petition.
A spokesman for the group said: “The centre is well used and houses a popular pre-school. If the centre closes the pre-school will be moved out to Gedling, which will save jobs, but is too far away for parents and guardians without access to a car and will leave the community without a pre-school.
“It will also mean the closure of a number of popular groups, clubs and activities run at the centre and serving all generations within the community. The Bowling Club has already been asked to leave because of the proposed closure.
“The community believe that the community centre is essential for community cohesion and to care for the ‘bookends’ of the community, the very young and the elderly.”
“What’s a community without a community centre?” said Denise Bailey of Bailey’s Food Market in Mapperley.
“This is the only public building we have in the whole of Porchester Gardens and the only bit of green space. It would be terrible if we lost it.”
The group want the local community to take on management of the building and bowling green via Community Asset Transfer which is currently happening to all other community centres owned by Gedling Borough Council.
Their aim is to redevelop the bowling green into a communal outdoor space and improve the community centre and increase usage, this would ensure Haywood Road Pre-school could remain in Mapperley.
Gedling Borough Council said that although they are having to make tough choices due to budget cuts, nothing had yet been decided about the fate of the community centre.
Councillor Michael Payne, deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council, said; “Gedling is faced with reducing its spending by over £2 million as a result of further cuts in Government support.
“Unfortunately, this means we’re having to explore a number of tough choices including the option to close Haywood Road community centre. Nothing has been decided and if we can work with the community to find a way that safeguards the centre and generates or saves the Council some money, then of course we’d be keen to do that”
To have your say about the proposed plans visit http://www.gedling.gov.uk/community/haveyoursay/