Douglas Bader Centre

21st February, 2011

On Saturday I was visited by one of my constituents, Vilas, who is a regular user of the centre and was concerned about its future. She told me how the centre had provided lifeline to her after she had a stroke. Without the centre she would have nowhere to go and would be virtually trapped in her home all day, every day. The Douglas Bader Centre offered her friendship and social activities that make life worth living. The centre provides: arts and crafts, gardening, exercise, computing and much more and is used by about 50 people per day. Vilas explained to me that she thought there was the possibility of renting out unused space to generate income and that this should be explored. To me this seems sensible given that the Council hjas just spent £100,000 on refurbishing the centre and making it safe.

My view is that the centre should stay open as long as there is a demand for it. If alternatives are put in place and people choose not to go to the centre then that would be the time to consider its future. At the moment there seems to be considerable support for keeping it open and we should listen to what people are saying. I will be discussing its future with my council colleagues.

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