Doncaster village in battle to save community centre

Judy Kerrigan is leading a campaign to help keep the community building, formerly The Winning Post, in Moorends from being sold by the council.
Judy Kerrigan is leading a campaign to help keep the community building, formerly The Winning Post, in Moorends from being sold by the council.
6
Have your say

Battle lines have been drawn in a former Doncaster mining village over plans to sell off a community centre.

Thorne-Moorends Town Council is in negotiations over the possible sale of the Winning Post - a former pub owned by the authority and run as a community centre.

Residents opposed to the sale fear it will cease to be a community centre and may end up knocked down and used for housing.

They have applied for Asset of Community Value status to give them the chance to buy it as a community.

It was granted this week.

They also claim it has not been widely advertised, and that it is worth more than the £32,000 for which they understand there is an offer on the table.

Resident Judy Kerrigan, who has set up the Save the Winning Post Facebook group, said: “There has been consultation and 600 people wanted to keep the Winning Post.

“We have put in an application for it to become an Asset of Community Value. That would mean we had to be given the chance to buy it as a community.

“I fear that eventually it will be flattened and become a block of flats or housing.

“We think the price is ridiculous considering the size of the land involved, which is around two thirds of an acre.”

The centre is used by groups including old people’s bingo , and dancing sessions.

A Save The Winning Post electors meeting is due to be held tomorrow evening at the venue, on Moorland Road. The town’s MPs have been invited.

Thorne-Moorends Council leader Martin Williams defended the plans.

He said there were currently three buildings used as community centres in Moorends, with Northgate Community Centre and the Miners Welfare in addition to the Winning Post, in a town of 5,000 people.

He added the centre was losing £36,000 a year, and the council received no income from flats above the building because of a deal put in place by previous councillors which handed the flats over to the South Yorkshire Housing Association.

He said: “Contracts have not yet been exchanged on the sale of the building, which currently costs us 10 per cent of the council’s budget each year.

“We are willing to listen to any offers from the community, but it is a lot of money for the council to be losing.”

He added money received from the building would be spent on expanding and improving the Northgate Community Centre.