[Imc-uk-features] Feture on state of the communerty center

hamish hamish at riseup.net
Fri Sep 24 07:17:39 PDT 2004

Would be good if some one would wright a feture as I did lots of IMC
oureach at the meeting so the shoulp be more reports being posted.

Hamish XXX

Feel free to chop it up


Community Centre Kitchen Building Causes Controversy

It seems far too many people were surprised that the kitchen will fill
in the open free space on the public face of the building rather than in
the back of the building. It will involve the felling of a mature cherry
tree and the removing of public space which is scarce in East Oxford.
The meeting was in uproar between the centre bureaucrats, professional
architects and council employees pitted against the users groups and
parts of the wider community.

"1. The proposed kitchen means destroying a mature cherry tree
2. It will block out light from our downstairs hall
3. The main income from EOCC is from exercise classes: these will be
jeopardised by construction of kitchen in this place
4. If kitchen were sited next to social club could use that space during
the day for healthy living groups /drop in centre for families etc
instead of creating dual use for existing hall
5. Toilets in EOCC are a disgrace: not very encouraging to healthy
living groups"
Anna Sandham, Treasurer EOCC

"This was deemed the only viable space for the kitchen to go. Yes, it
does take up space, but what do we need more- a viable way of teaching
our children to eat healthily and a subsidised food source, or a mature
cherry tree. If it could be put in the bar area, then I would support
that. If it has to be at the front of the building or not at all, then I
support it." Sarah Gardner

"I would hate to see this building be ruined - it is part of the
heritage of the Cowley
Road.  Many residents have memories of this being a school and a
significant landmark in the area.  We are rapidly losing places like
this.  I don't think residents in the wider community have been
consulted on this.  There seems to be good will to compromise on the
kitchen being moved to a different area in the building thus keeping the
original building which I hope happens.  Then everybody can benefit from
this." Annie Skinner 

"I think any investment into the centre is welcome.  It is seriously in
need of all kinds of work and I hope this will be the start of more long
term improvement.  The grounds & exterior are a disgrace as is the
toilets and bar.  My only fear is that the improved kitchen will show up
the terrible state of the rest of the building even more.  I'm sure
after the temporary disruption, the new kitchen would be well used and a
welcome resource for the community.  It has been such a long time
coming, it would be a shame to have to go back to the drawing board, get
new architects, new plans, planning permission etc etc and waste more
public money when any new plans are just as likely to meet with more
objections it seems."  Tara Stewart - fusion Oxford's Community Arts

"The project sponsors have continually ignored complaints about issues
of siting of the project and the need for the project. I feel the
attitude to the centre was that it was unused and any project would be a
good thing. In fact the centre is quite well used there are many groups
of dance, martial arts, morris dancers, and the centre should have been
redeveloped with this in mind. Turning the hall into a restaurant will
effect the use of the hall. Dual use is not the most effective use of
the space it would be better to site it on the bar because that space is
already full of seating and it would add to the use of this space. It is
bound to impact on the hall use  even though the project sponsors say it
wont they are not going to build a kitchen there and not use it are
they?" Cathy Spiers trustee

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