Northern Neighborhood Community Centre

The first community centre at Great Western Park is opening next spring. South Oxfordshire District Council is keen to learn residents’ views about how the building should be owned and managed.

The council feels that the best way for the building to meet the needs of Great Western Park residents is for the residents to own and manage the building. However this involves a lot of responsibilities that residents may not have had previous experience of.

Council officers have therefore suggested that they could help to set up a company limited by guarantee to own and manage the building on behalf of residents. Initially the company board would consist of ten people. Eight of these people would comprise council representatives, representatives from voluntary and faith groups [who may be using the centre] and the developers, with the remaining two people being GWP voluntary residents. The non resident board members could provide advice on owning and managing the building.

Over time the non resident board members would give up their seats so that eventually the company and building could be run by residents. The board members would serve on a voluntary unpaid basis. The company would employ a secretary/booking clerk and caretaker/cleaner. These posts would be paid posts.

More details can be found here Great Western Park community buildings business plan. If feedback to the residents’ association suggest that communal ownership and management of the centre is a good idea council officers will ask the council to give permission to do the work needed to set up the company. If feedback suggests that it is not a good idea the council will ask one of the contractors that manage its leisure centres, to run the building. They will do a good job but the centre will be one of many buildings that they manage.

Please contact the RA Secretary if you wish to provide feedback secretary@gwpra.org.uk

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