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Aldersbrook Community Centre's future up in the air after Newham Council takes over hall

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 May 2017

Aldersbrook Community Centre, in Brading Crescent, Wanstead, which could close after October, as Newham Council took over its management. Picture: Google

Aldersbrook Community Centre, in Brading Crescent, Wanstead, which could close after October, as Newham Council took over its management. Picture: Google

Google

The future of the much loved Aldersbrook Community Centre could be in doubt, after Newham Council takes over the hall's management in June.

Rumours have swirled for the past few weeks that the venue, in Brading Crescent, Wanstead, which hosts fitness classes, yoga and weddings, could close in under a month.

The hall is currently owned by Newham Council, but managed by a separate committee which sets the fees, however this will change on June 1.

The council has confirmed to the Recorder that the community hall will not close then, but could not guarantee the centre’s future after October.

A spokesman said: “The council is facing continuing pressures on its budgets and we have a duty to ensure we use our taxpayers’ money effectively and efficiently while also maximising the value of all of our assets.

“We will now be reviewing all of the options available to ensure we make the best use of the Aldersbrook site.”

He added the current system of charging “minimal fees ... is no longer sustainable”.

The news will worry regular users of the hall, which resident David Heinemann says “is a crucial last remaining community resource for Brading Crescent”.

The 33-year-old, who has lived on the estate since 1998, explained: “When we know that communities are breaking down, and public health and social isolation are massive challenges, it begs belief that the council has failed to let local people know what’s happening.

“Some who’ve used the hall for over 20 years have been left in the dark, wondering if it will soon be closed, knocked down or made so expensive it can’t be used by anyone on the estate?”

Mike, who runs Drill Fitness in the hall, said he was glad the community centre wasn’t closing on June 1 and hoped it would stay open longer.

“I run 70 per cent of my classes here. I like the location, I’ve built up a loyal clientele, so I would like to remain at the centre,” he said.

Newham Council confirmed officers aimed to contact all of the businesses which use the hall by the end of the week.

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