The Winslow Centre
In response to comments about changes at the Winslow Centre, Town and District Councillor Llew Monger responds as follows.
The Winslow Centre is owned by Bucks County Council who have complete control over lettings policy. Neither Winslow Town Council or Aylesbury Vale District Council have any involvement in the running of the Centre and have not been consulted by the County Council or the School. Two years ago a number of rooms were taken over by the Sir Thomas Fremantle School on a two year lease pending the building of an entirely new school. The new build is now more than a year behind schedule and unlikely to be completed before early 2017. The school has obviously increased in numbers as each year’s intake joins and this has led to a need for more space. This could have been provided in temporary classrooms sited in the grounds so as not to interfere with the long term community users but the school is to be given full use of the building. I have been advised by senior officers at BCC that from half-term the school will manage the site between 7.00am and 4.30pm and there will probably be no other users during those hours with daytime adult education classes being relocated to Buckingham. Air Active Gym has already been forced out of the centre after twenty seven years and now, as reported in Mr Hornsey’s post Rozelle School of Dancing, which has been there for more than twenty years, have been told they must leave. Sadly the BCC staff at the Winslow Centre have been placed on a forty day consultation notice and it seems likely that they will be made redundant.
The County Council have failed to communicate with the existing users and made no effort to help them find alternative accommodation. Air Active are moving to the Combined School and Rozelle will probably go to the St Laurence Room or the Public Hall. We have a real shortage of suitable accommodation for such activities in Winslow so the loss of daytime use at the Winslow Centre will certainly cause problems for at least the next eighteen months.
The only light on the horizon is that the Town Council is just starting public engagement in the design or our new community centre and town park at The Paddock. A second open afternoon is being held on Sunday 13th between 2.30pm and 5.00pm and the site can be accessed from behind the Public Hall in Elmfields Gate. There will be a public meeting at the St Laurence Room at 7.30pm on Tuesday 15th when The Council’s consultant architect will present some initial ideas for the community to work on.
You may wish to contact Mr. J Chilver, the Bucks County Councillor for this area