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Eddie

Future of Chequers Bridge in the balance

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Chequers Bridge, in Painswick Road, closed in June 2011 after serving the community for 30 years.

It was scheduled to be revived later that year, in September, when the council took it on as part of the Big Community Offer scheme which saw community-run youth provision introduced throughout Gloucestershire.

Interest was shown by the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO), the Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action (GAVCA), and the Ethnic Minority Foundation (EMF), in the Centre, but nothing concrete was ever signed.

Despite showing early interest they never replied to the council's advances, and the council's cabinet met last week to look at new users taking it on.

County Councillor Phil McLellan (Lib, Barnwood) said: "They effectively pulled the plug on themselves.

"GAVCA and co showed a lot of interest early on, but when contacted by the council they never replied.

"As a result the centre has stood empty for over a year which is a huge shame."

He added: "Personally I would like to see it used in the future by the community, I know a lot of groups have shown an interest, from church groups, to social enterprise groups and community groups."

The centre was devastated by fire back in March, which in itself raised concerns for the council going forward, with fears of added expense needed to properly secure the site against future vandalism.

The council's cabinet will meet on December 12 to discuss future options for the site.

tig

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So, GAVCA has pulled out of the previously announced agreement to manage the centre. This is very disappointing.

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