Thurrock UKIP demand answers over “closure” of Aveley community centre

A LEADING UKIP councillor has demanded to know what the council are doing about community services in Aveley.Although we understand that the Aveley community centre is still open, we also understand that there are hardly any clubs being run from the centre.The manager of the Aveley community centre, Ray Munro-Crump has also left after over twenty years service in the borough.Aveley councillor, Pete Smith has tabled the following question to be asked on Wednesday night at a meeting of the Thurrock Council.Cllr Smith asks: “The portfolio holder will no doubt be aware of the closure of Aveley community forum and the many youth services it provides.”Is the Council considering action to mitigate the loss of the important services it was offering to residents?A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said:”The Aveley Community Centre is a resource which has been developed by the Aveley Village Community Forum. As well as providing a place for local groups to meet, the centre has also provided youth services for a number of years. Unfortunately, due to a number of external funding agreements with bodies outside Thurrock coming to an end, the Forum has had to take the unfortunate decision to cease its operation for the foreseeable future.”The Forum privately leases the current premises, and they plan to make the centre available to some existing groups who are able to open and close for their current membership. The current building and its use is the responsibility of the Forum.Although the services and community support provided through AVCF are well regarded, they do not include any statutory services. Thurrock Council has sought to provide support to the Forum which has included help with reviewing external funding opportunities and ongoing discussions about supporting the Forum in the future.’Recently, we were able to grant fund £20,000 to help bridge an immediate funding shortfall as well help develop the Aveley Community Hub from the existing centre. We will continue to support the Forum to develop a local offer alongside residents and ward councillors.

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