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'Disgraceful' £11,000 rent for new Kingsway Community Centre

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 22, 2014

The new Kingsway Community Centre is under construction

Comments (6)

£11,000 is the ‘disgraceful’ price tag put on renting the new Kingsway Community Centre when it opens this summer.

The building is being built by developers and handed over to Gloucester City Council free of charge.

The city council will then lease it out to a community group for a ‘huge’ £10,995 per year.

Quedgeley parish councillors, who are keen to take the site on as they already run the existing community centre, are writing to the city council to object to the steep figures.

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Parish clerk Jacquie Webster said: “It was certainly a surprise to us. This is obviously a cost that we have not currently factored into the precept and there is a concern about the impact that might have.

“We feel we need more time to consult with residents about how everyone would be affected by this.

“As far as are concerned it is a building that is being given to the council for free so we are unclear on why the lease is so expensive.

“Residents think they are getting a fantastic new building but I don’t think people realise that it is going to come at an extra cost to the taxpayer.”

Councillor Steve Smith said: “It would mean very expensive hire charges for any groups that would use it.”

Bev Aldridge, from the parish council office, said: “We have been running the temporary community centre for a long time now and we were led to believe that this community centre would come to us without these costs.

“Of course if it comes to us, we would make it open to all of the community, but I fear that it will be empty most of the time because people would not be able to afford to hire it. Over the years we could see the community centre slowly clawed away from small groups as it becomes a place where only commercial ventures can afford to come to.”

County councillor Barry Kirby (L, Grange and Kingsway) said: “It hasn’t even costing the council anything. It is not them who has built it anyway. It is quite frankly disgraceful.”

Gloucester City Council said that it has determined a ‘fair’ rent for the building.

It will also offer the first year rent free, the second year at half rent, followed by three years of full rent. The lease would be reviewed every five years.

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  • JemmyWood  |  March 22 2014, 1:14PM

    QPC needs to think twice about this, especially if it means an increase in Council tax.. But... You only have to look at what they spend their money on to see it could easily be found, if belts were tightened. £3.5K on fireworks? Theres a third of your money straight away.. £790 on delivery of newspapers? £175 on IDs and lanyards? The list goes on...

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  • sexymamma67  |  March 22 2014, 12:57PM

    QPC have already said that will have to find the money to pay this rent if they are successful in their bid to run it. The quickest, easiest and guaranteed way would be to increase the parish council tax but they could increase the payments of the service users but who knows with QPC

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  • JemmyWood  |  March 22 2014, 12:04PM

    So does this mean I will have to pay more. Quedgeley specific council tax to support this thanks to the council? Is bad enough as it is having to pay extra money to the pointless toothless tiger that is the Quedgeley Parish Council.

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  • sexymamma67  |  March 22 2014, 9:45AM

    So the council get given a free asset from the developers but then want to make a profit out of it... If the organisation that takes over the running of the community centre has to pay all of the running costs, repairs etc... What will the council be doing with rent money they receive each year because I doubt they will re-invest this money into the Kingsway/Quedgeley area... Transparency Gloucester City Council - let us know your thinking behind this...

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  • Bonkim2003  |  March 21 2014, 7:05PM

    £11K per year appears reasonable given the location. The leaseholders will have to look at recouping the rent from attracting commercial events which would help reduce charges for community groups.

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  • Richardburton  |  March 21 2014, 4:43PM

    I am thinking they want it so cheap they can make a profit on it while still expecting the Tax payer to pay for the repairs, insurance etc when the bullding gets a bit older! This is like all council housing to be given free to to the tenents when Glos city council give it to Glos city homes for free... !

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