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Community Centre crisis

Created on 04/12/2018 @ 10:01
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An emergency meeting is being held in Guilsfield tomorrow (Wednesday) that could result in the closure of the village’s Community Centre.

Built in 1963, the centre has become a vital multi-functional facility that hosts dinners, parties, weddings, stage performances, sports clubs, community groups and many other activities.

But MyWelshpool understands that following months of wrangling over liability issues that have arisen from the purchase of land, most of the Community Centre Board of Trustees have resigned meaning that last Sunday’s PTA bingo could be the last community event held there.

The school and its day time use is not thought to be under threat, but all will become clearer at the meeting when the seriousness of the situation will be explained. The recreation fields and outdoor sports clubs are also thought to be unaffected.

However, the two trustees remaining have asked for assistance from the Powys Association of Volunteer Organisations (PAVO) to help steer them through the choppy waters, and the organisation issued an email last week to current and past users of the facility.

The email states that: “Problems have arisen at the Community Centre resulting from past decisions that saw the leasing, purchasing and development of land for recreation, beyond the powers of the charity.

“This problem is being dealt with through the active assistance of the Community Council in managing the recreation land, but the unpicking of the issues has made it difficult to recruit trustees to the charity, with only two people now serving in this capacity. This is too few to run the charity and the decision has therefore been taken to seek to surrender the lease and close the Community Centre as of the new year - unless new trustees come forward from groups with a right to appoint trustees to the charity, or volunteers who can be co-opted to fill vacancies on the board. Without an influx of new trustees, the charity is not sustainable.

“A meeting to discuss the current situation is being held at the Community Centre on Wednesday evening (5th December), commencing at 5pm. 

“The meeting will seek to gauge whether there is sufficient interest in reconstituting the trustee board in order to prevent the need for closing the centre and surrendering the lease on the building. Information on the roles and responsibilities of being a trustee and the current position of the charity will also be available on the night.”

The email goes on to say that “PAVO is supporting the Community Centre and the Community Council to develop a pragmatic solution to the issues that have occurred with the Community Centre charity - but without people willing to come forward to take on the running of this local community asset, it is hard to see what other options are available other than winding up the charity”.

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