Residents happy to be made community centre organisers

Residents got together to campaign for the club to be re-opened under the management of the communit

Residents got together to campaign for the club to be re-opened under the management of the community - Credit: Archant

A group of residents are celebrating after the council agreed to handover the running of a fire-damaged social club to the community.

Last summer the future of the Scrattons Sport and ­Social Club on Scrattons Farm Estate, Barking, looked bleak after the centre closed then was twice hit by arson.

Alarmed at the prospect of no community centre in the area, a number of residents came together to campaign for the club, in Morrison Road, to be renovated and ­reopened under their management.

They formed the Scrattons Community Association, put forward a business plan and presented a petition to the council’s assembly to show just how many people supported the idea.

At last week’s cabinet meeting, councillors agreed to grant the association a 30-year lease of the club, which is being ­refurbished.

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Association chairman and lifelong Scrattons Farm resident, Kathy Ellis said the community was delighted at the decision.

“It’s been a long fight, but finally the club is ours which is wonderful,” she said.

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“We hope to open within a month or so, once all the work is finished.”

The 63-year-old said a community centre was vital.

“We are so isolated on Scrattons by the A13. A lot of people don’t even know we are here.

“It would have been terrible if we didn’t have anywhere for people to meet.”

Plans are already afoot for a variety of regular clubs and events.

“We have organised for a dog training club to come once a week, and we’re hoping to have things like football sessions, keep fit, dancing, slimming clubs, tea parties for the elderly and children’s parties.

“There will also be a members-only bar.”

Kathy thanked Thames ward Cllr Cameron Geddes for his support. “He’s been absolutely brilliant. I don’t know what we’d done without him,” she said.

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