Residents happy to be made community centre organisers
- 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.