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Community Centre groupís fears ahead of consultative meeting

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

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THE group campaigning for a community centre in Warrenpoint say they are fearful that the management of any new hub could be handed out to a third party.
However, they remain hopeful that a location for a community centre can be found despite the withdrawal of their first preference, the town's former police station.
And a consultation evening is to be held later this month where the Warrenpoint public will be able to discuss what they would like to see in any such hub.
Community Centre for Warrenpoint say they have been "patiently waiting for years for the Council to provide a community centre".
Speaking to the Newry Democrat, a spokesperson for the group said that it has felt like "one step forward and one step back" in recent times.
“The recent mind-blowing disappointment, disclosed across media outlets and local press regarding the withdrawal of availability of the former PSNI station in Warrenpoint, could have knocked this little group for six - but the committee continues to work away in the background to further build community relations and help keep spirits high in the hope for a centre.
“The council has steadied themselves after hearing the news and re-commissioned a feasibility study which is underway to look at alternative sites in Warrenpoint. The previous one carried out in 2015 shall be read in conjunction with this. The diminished hope for the PSNI site shall remain."
The spokesperson added: "Community Centre for Warrenpoint is concerned that the option of a hub may not be offered to Warrenpoint people but instead handing the management and running of the centre over with limited to no input from the council.
“Community Centre for Warrenpoint, representing all in the community, is hopeful this is not the case and is reassured by the fact no official discussion has been had on the matter and remains committed to the idea of a hub for the 8,000 residents."
A consultative facilitation evening on Thursday, July 19 will be held in Warrenpoint Town Hall to draft the exact needs and commitment from groups on the usage of the centre when built.
“We are excited about this event as we get to have a direct input into what the Centre could look like and that it matches the needs we plan to lay out on July 19," the spokesperson continued.
“We have written to many community groups, persons or businesses that plan to use the community centre, asking them to contact us at warrenpointcc@yahoo.com outlining their wish to attend and contribute to their future centre.
“We will also have the recent survey we completed and the responses given to assist us in what individual residents wants from the centre.
“We as a community group feel that we are ever closer to a centre for our whole community and the time is now for all other organisations to come together and show their continued support!"

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