Big society getting smaller…

Via Hammersmith and Fulham Unison:

Leading Tory Hammersmith and Fulham council members will meet tomorrow evening to rubberstamp the sale of four big community centres. Thousands of residents oppose these sales.

Community members who want to run the centres as community-based Big Society projects have been ignored – local MP Andrew Slaughter is reporting that supporters of the Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall made an offer to lease the building commercially under a charitable trust, but have had no response. The Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall is in one of the borough’s most deprived wards. Yours truly will have to try and catch up with some of the players in this story tomorrow. If the Shepherd’s Bush group is struggling to get hold of a building for community use, but Toby Young is not struggling to get hold of Palingswick House for his free school as below – well, we’ll have to spend some time deciding what that all means.

The four threatened community centres are:

Palingswick House: home to more than 20 charities in Hammersmith and Fulham. Slaughter is reporting that Toby Young’s controversial West London Free School has been identified as the likely buyer.

Sands End Community Centre: includes the Sands End library, children’s and social services, an affordable gym and adult education.

The Irish Centre: a self funding arts and cultural centre. About 7000 people signed a petition asking the council to reconsider this sale.

The Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall: used by about local organisations and offers Sure Start services and the Shepherd’s Bush Families Project.

There will be a protest outside Hammersmith and Fulham Town Hall in Kings Street tomorrow night before the cabinet meeting: 6pm Monday 7 February W6 9JU.

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