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Do you have skills to help run Pinetrees Community Centre?
OWNERSHIP of Pinetrees Community Centre is up for grabs, but only to a community group or charitable association made up of enough people with the right range of skills.
The Swindon Council-owned centre in The Circle, Pinehurst, is available to the first group which can prove itself capable of taking on full ownership of the building, by demonstrating manpower, expertise and experience.
The Pinehurst Community Centre Association (PCCA) believes it is the group for the job. The committee which makes up the PCCA stands at seven members, though three of those are ward councillors.
Fronted by Kathleen Holland and Kerrie Payton, the PCCA would need eight or nine members, not including councillors, to lodge a formal bid with the council for control of the centre.
The current manager of the centre is Bob Johnson, who said: “The council would like to find a group operating within the area, of which the PCCA is a fledgling type.
“The borough council lay down criteria regarding experience and training for anyone wishing to take on the centre. People without that, we can provide training for.
“The idea is to have a group combining experience with knowledge running the centre in the future.”
The PCCA accepts it is not yet ready to take on the project, but if a handful of new volunteers came forward, willing to put the work in, it would be ready to undertake the council’s training and take charge of the keys to the premises.
Ms Holland, chair of the PCCA, said: “We are crying out for volunteers to come into the group. We want to be able to take over the centre from the borough council.
“It’s about the training, they will provide the training, but we still need to show the council more before they commit to giving it to us. If we get people willing to come in, people with the right skills and right commitment, then we will have a strong committee. It will be fully complete and competent to take over the centre.”
One of the three councillors on the PCCA committee, Coun Rochelle Russell (Ind, Gorse Hill & Pinehurst), is backing the duo and their co-members to take control in the future for the good of the community.
“Kathy and Kerry are constantly offering ideas. They have their finger on the pulse of the community. They are residents themselves and have young children too,” she said.
“They are especially proactive in asking people what they want. The committee is short of numbers though, and they want to widen the skills base. But if they pull the people in, I am a firm believer that this centre should be in the hands of the community.”
l To find out more, call the community centre on 01793 488580 or visit the Facebook page facebook.com/ pinetrees.communitycentrepinehurst
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