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Group fights for control of centre
9:00am Sunday 10th March 2013 in Trowbridge
A residents’ association that has been running a community centre since 2000 is angry with Selwood Housing’s decision to take over the resource.
Studley Green Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (TARA) was told to give up Manor Road Resource Centre on February 22 and return its keys to Selwood.
The decision is part of tenancy reforms following a review last autumn, which brought volunteer group Selwood Tenants’ Voice to an end and saw a new scrutiny panel set-up.
The centre was run by tenants, with its management committee part of STV, but, now Selwood wants to oversee the centre.
John Alford, the TARA chairman, said: “They say they want to improve the place. They can’t do any better than we have.
“When a family have a problem, you strive to put it right. Not Selwood; they kick you out and get a new family.”
The resource centre benefits Studley Green residents and the community by hosting a computer club, a credit union workshop, coffee mornings and a Friday TARA drop-in session.
Studley Green TARA, about 10 volunteers, has not yet returned the keys and Mr Alford has complained to Selwood.
A Selwood spokesman said.“The complaint is being investigated and, if we do not get the keys back, we will look at changing the locks, but we hope it does not come to that.
“None of these activities will stop. In fact, we want to see the centre used more often and by more people. We’re also going to have the neighbourhood manager for Studley Green at the drop-in session each Friday morning, to deal first-hand with any concerns or queries people living on the estate might have.”
As part of its reforms, Selwood has hired a resident involvement manager, to start on March 18.
Trowbridge Area Board chairman Graham Payne said: “It is important to build on the local knowledge and the good work already being done there.”
He said the issue would be discussed at the next area board meeting, at County Hall from 7pm on Thursday.