Campaigners feel ‘betrayed’ following Upton Centre closure
- Credit: Archant
Campaigners say they have been left “disappointed” and “betrayed” after cabinet members made a decision to permanently close the Upton Centre yesterday.
About 200 protesters gathered outside East Ham Town Hall on Thursday to show their support for the re-opening of the Claude Road community centre which was suddenly shut in December after engineers ruled the boiler did not comply with regulations.
During the council meeting, members agreed to close the centre and consult with residents on the future use of the site after a public consultation highlighted the need for community space and affordable housing.
A review from independent surveyors highlighted it could cost £2.9m to keep the centre open for five years and £5.2m for 20 years.
Following the meeting, campaigners told the Recorder that they “feel let down” by the council’s decision to close the centre.
You may also want to watch:
Spokesman for the centre, Miraj Patel, said: “I think the wider Indian community and the general population are deeply heartbroken by the decision, especially as the community centre has been at the forefront of many Indian festivals.”
He added: “As a community we feel the officers have not really worked with us to come to an amicable solution. What the community requires is a teetotal and a vegetarian centre, which can cater for the wider community.
- 1 Cause of death remains unknown after body found in disused Forest Gate pub
- 2 Jailed man caught with knife in Stratford to be handed court order
- 3 Forest Gate triple shooting: 'Safety is everybody's business,' councillor says
- 4 Body found in derelict pub in Forest Gate
- 5 Road and rail disruptions to expect in east London this week
- 6 Tom Hiddleston to appear as MCM Comic Con returns to ExCeL London in Royal Docks
- 7 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
- 8 Car abandoned after triple shooting and stabbing at Forest Gate barber
- 9 Worshippers at mosque in Upton Park aim to raise £35k for Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal 2021
- 10 Thames Barrier closing for 200th time amid potential east London flooding
“The council have made the wrong decision.”
During the meeting, councillors raised concerns about how much it would cost to keep the centre open.
The six-week consultation also showed that 50 percent of the residents questioned had not heard of the centre.
Cllr Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, planning and regeneration, said: “Anyone who knows anything about the Upton Centre knows it’s a place of shared experiences, of shared joy, sadness, and important memories.
“I will not minimise the importance of those experiences: they are real and they matter. But this building is no longer fit for purpose.
“Our surveyors say that the failing boiler means that the building is no longer safe to use, and will cost many millions of pounds to bring back into use.”