Belfast Telegraph

Community group to remain open

Troubled Connswater Community Centre has been granted a six-month stay of execution.

Belfast City Council’s Development Committee came to the decision last Wednesday after long and detailed talks at City Hall.

The council is understood to be providing further training to help the centre put better governance procedures in place.

Back in December, the council unanimously decided that the centre would continue to operate, with staff from the council's community services section working with volunteers from the Connswater Community Group.

A report was brought forward to the Development Committee's January meeting, giving details of all the hours that community services staff have given to the centre since the management of it came under the control of the community group.

The legal services section of the council compiled a report for the meeting as members were concerned that because money has been spent without authority, they could end up being surcharged.

East Belfast PUP councillor John Kyle welcomed the decision. He said: “I am very pleased that this community centre will continue operating.

“It is an excellent resource for the local community — and it could be developed further to make it even more valuable. It has enormous potential.

“Clearly mistakes were made, but the group have shown a real willingness to learn from those mistakes and to co-operate fully with the council.”

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