Councillors plan to save threatened community centres

Lewisham Park Youth Centre in Morley is one of several centres earmarked for closure.
Lewisham Park Youth Centre in Morley is one of several centres earmarked for closure.

Morley Town Council could take control of public owned community centres at risk of being shut down, one councillor has said.

The suggestion is one of a number of options being considered as a petition against the potential closures of Lewisham Park Centre, Gildersome Youth Club and St Gabriel’s Community Centre gathers pace.

Leeds City Council have insisted that closing the buildings is a last resort while community groups have been invited to take over the centres if they can run them efficiently.

Coun Robert Finnigan said: “We are in the process of forming a long-term sustainable plan to take control of the centres and run them effectively.

“There is a real opportunity here for Morley Town Council or the local community to take these centres away from Leeds City Council and into our hands. 
Under those circumstances the buck stops with us to ensure the centres are better used and are run more efficiently than they are at the moment. This would stop the prospect of Leeds City Council turning up 36 months down the line and wanting to close it.”

Around 200 people attended a public meeting in Morley Town Hall last Thursday to discuss the proposals.

The city council is seeking to relieve themselves of responsbility for the buildings as it is tasked to make £46m of savings over the coming financial year.