Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, is calling for a reprieve for the threatened Park End Community Centre.
Tom said ”One candidate for a local council cut is the ending of support for the Park End Community Centre. To do so would be both incredibly illogical in cash terms, and wrong in social terms.”
“In cash terms, the centre only in recent times won a £102,000 lottery grant for introducing facilities like a multi-games court, a skate park and garden. The core support from Middlesbrough is essential to winning further external funding from the lottery and community grant givers.”
“In social terms, Park End is an area suffering from serious disadvantage and high unemployment and social isolation.”
“The activities carried out at the centre combat this poverty, such as providing a base for a credit union, a Sure Start centre, a youth ‘drop in’ and a centre for the local Neighbourhood Watch crime fighting agency. None of this can be lost, and much of it will simply have to be provided elsewhere – and at added cost.”
“Put simply, Middlesbrough Council are under the cash cosh begin wielded by David Cameron, George Osborne and their poodle, Eric Pickles. If Park End needs a target, it is there. Middlesbrough Council must see the social and economic folly if they are forced to pull cash support for the Park End Community Centre, and if they – as I hope they will – will appeal to Government for cash aid to keep the centre open, I will be there with them.”