Monday, June 27, 2022
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Strawberry Lane: Five key points from public meeting

Around 13 local residents attended a public meeting about Leeds City College withdrawing from Strawberry Lane Community Centre in Armley.

You can read the college’s arguments here and the concern over the future of the centre here.

To summarise, here are five key pointers we took from the meeting:

  1. Leeds City College’s decision to withdraw from St Barts has already been made. The centre will close on August 31. Done deal.
  2. The college had consulted staff, but there are legitimate concerns over a lack of consultation with local users. There has been no wider community consultation.
  3. Some courses –  such as ESOL (English as a Second Language), English and maths – could be housed in other local venues. College chiefs are visiting potential sites over the next week – so SOME local provision WILL remain.
  4. There are ongoing concerns over the viability of Strawberry Lane Community Centre once the college, which uses half the building, leaves. Local councillor James McKenna has tried to allay those fears and is confident new tenants will be found.
  5. The college and local politicians have all blamed the closure on central government cuts. Question: Other than lobbying our MP Rachel Reeves, what can local residents actually do about this? Are local residents really so impotent? Answers on a postcard … (or in the comments below).

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