Cambridge City Council is seeking the views of residents and community organisations within the city on the future of community facilities.
The vision, based on evidence of where facilities are most needed across the city, informs proposed changes to seven out of its eight community centres. In addition, a number of gaps have been identified where services cannot be accessed easily by residents who most need them.
The proposals, laid out in a consultation which runs until 5 May, include:
- Building a new community centre (‘Hub’) on the site of the existing Meadows Community Centre in Arbury ward. This will improve, but not reduce, community facilities available, in order to provide all of the services currently offered by The Meadows and nearby Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre (King’s Hedges ward).
- Looking into the feasibility of being able to provide more housing through the redevelopment of council-owned land currently occupied by Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre, and by reducing the footprint occupied by the existing Meadows Community Centre.
- Improving facilities at Akeman Street (Arbury ward) or at a more suitable redeveloped site nearby.
- Inviting voluntary sector organisations to take on the management of community centres in some areas: Ross Street Community Centre (Romsey ward), Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre (Kings Hedges ward) and Nun’s Way Pavilion (King’s Hedges ward).
- Exploring opportunities to enhance facilities in King’s Hedges ward, as current provision at Nun’s Way Pavilion and 37 Lawrence Way is restrictive in terms of size, location and accessibility.
- Continuing to provide community facilities at Trumpington Pavilion (Trumpington ward) in partnership with Trumpington Residents’ Association.
- Retaining Brown’s Field Youth and Community Centre(East Chesterton ward) as a council managed community centre.
- Addressing gaps in the provision of community facilities in Abbey, Cherry Hinton, East Chesterton and Queen Edith’s wards.
- Meeting the needs of new communities by helping to provide new community facilities in growing areas of the city such as Clay Farm in the south west development area (Trumpington ward), and Storey’s Field in the north west development area (Castle ward).
People can respond to the consultation on the council’s website. There are also a number of open sessions at community centres and before area committee meetings when people can drop in, review the proposals and talk to council officers. Printed copies of the consultation document are available at council managed community centres, or by phoning 01223 457862.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Communities, said:
“The council commenced a review into community centre provision in the city to ensure that our services are fit for the future and closely match up with the needs and requirements of Cambridge residents.
“The draft proposals that came out of the review, and are to be consulted on, set out a positive, bold and ambitious vision which will, when taken as a complete package, improve and enhance the services we provide and further strengthen the rich and diverse community organisations, clubs, and groups that operate from our centres.”
The consultation on the draft proposals will run for 12 weeks until 12 noon on 5 May. The responses received to the consultation will help to inform the final Community Centre Strategy, which will be considered at Community Services Committee on 29 June.