A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Former Ashburton Library future in turmoil due to Council bungling
09/07/2014 09:09:00


I recently met with angry members of a local church Charity whose plans to renovate the dilapidated former Ashburton Library building have been scuppered by the Labour administration now in charge of Croydon Council.

The much-loved building in Ashburton Park, empty since 2006, was set to come back to life as a church, nursery and community centre this year after an agreement was made with the previous Conservative administration.

His Grace Evangelical Outreach, currently based in Thornton Heath, were planning to spend at least £700,000 spent on bringing it back into use. The Council took their money and gave them the keys to the building. Despite this, within days of taking control of Croydon Council, the Labour Party decided to renege on the deal.

Pastor Bola Thomas and members of the charity are rightly upset by their decision. They had the keys to the building since January this year. Croydon's Cabinet agreed, the Corporate Services Committee agreed, they have a legally binding Lease Agreement signed in the presence of both the Council and their own solicitors and had started renovation work. They can’t understand why the Labour Party are trying to stop them from bringing this beautiful building back to the community.

This is frankly a dishonourable way for the Council to behave, particularly given they gave no indication in the run-up to the local elections that this is what they would do. It is also a baffling decision given they appear to have no alternative plan to bring the building back into active use.

Pastor Thomas has every right to be upset and will have my full support in seeking to get this decision over-turned.

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Readers' Comments

On 10/07/2014 15:46:00 Adam Kellett wrote:
Unless anyone can suggest a better reason, I will conclude that the atheist wing of Croydon Labour Party is in the ascendancy. This really is an astonishingly bad decision, and they will find it hard to make a worse one in their four years in power.

The Ashburton Labour campaign made a lot of noise about us not moving fast enough and putting the fabric of the building at risk, and now this! They pull the plug and take back the keys from this fine upstanding, community minded group who had already started to repair this lovely old building.

Every day that the hoardings remain up is another day when the decay could have been halted and reversed. While it still stands it will be a monument to the crass self-righteousness of this pathetic Labour administration.

On 20/07/2014 13:34:00 Tony Fitch wrote:
Typical of Labour to stop things that another administration has already agreed too. I have always liked the phrase Labour Is Working only trouble is it only works for them not the people who it is suposed to support
On 20/07/2014 14:51:00 Mary Morrison wrote:
I do hope this decision will be over-turned. I belonged to the Ashburton Library for many years when I was a child, and have fond memories of the building . it would be such a shame for this building to be left to rot away unused. surely the council are not being vindictive and just saying no to the plans because it was agreed to by the conservative lead council , that is just silly and not worthy of them . I look forward to hearing that either the council will honour the agreement or will publish their own plans and financial backup for this lovely old building so that further generations will enjoy this building as I did.



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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2019       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG