#Community Centres
Claire Monaghan, Head of Communities, South Ayrshire Council
United Kingdom

Girvan community centre alongside six other community centres in the Girvan and South Carrick area face closure as South Ayrshire Council have passed unaffordable utility bills on to user groups of these facilities.

We must stand together and say NO to these unnecessary cuts. Girvan Community Centre has been asked for £7500 to cover utility bills this year, this came with three days notice and in the knowledge that the centre only made £1700 profit last year. The users of the facility are not for profit organisations.

The utility bill will force the centre to close and will see 6 children's groups including a local playgroup shut their doors. Girvan Play Group is the last remaining playgroup in South Ayrshire and provides much needed affordable childcare for local communities.

The care and activities are second to none with local nursery teachers being able to identify which children have benefited from attending the play group. Closure would also leave a number of adult groups helping vulnerable people and the national blood bank without affordable accommodation.

The situation in Girvan mirrors the impact felt in other communities: Ballantrae; Colmonell, Barr, pinwherry, Dailly and Crosshill face the same measures. Our community centres are the hubs of our community and I fear we may lose them all. Villages will effectively be left with no meeting place, no voting facility or place to speak with their councillor or MP. This is a disgrace. We must stand firm and insist that South Ayrshire Council rethinks this budget efficiency.

The council are responsible for making financially responsible decisions and must balance their books sensibly, without hitting areas of high poverty the hardest. There has been no consultation in this process, only demand for payment and we the residents of Girvan and South Carrick demand better treatment. We expect these bills to be retracted in full.

The council have a duty to support the many voluntary organisations which improve our communities but are instead proposing leaving them without a home. Perhaps South Ayrshire Council could dip into their multimillion cash reserve in order to secure the future of our community services instead of forcing the closure of our community centres for effectively peanuts in terms of their budget.

We, the undersigned, demand that South Ayrshire Council immediately retract in full any measures demanding utility bill payments from impacted community centres in the Girvan and South Carrick area. These include community centres in Grivan, Ballantrae, Colmonell, Barr, Dailly, Pinwherry and Crosshill.

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The Oppose South Ayrshire Council shutting our community centres! petition to Claire Monaghan, Head of Communities, South Ayrshire Council was written by Karen McCartney and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.