Job fears as Upton Centre’s future is uncertain

The Upton Community Centre in Claude Road is closed until further notice

The Upton Community Centre in Claude Road is closed until further notice - Credit: Archant

The closure of Upton Community Centre has left staff at the pre-school fearful for their jobs.

The Victorian building was shut without warning on December 19 after engineers arrived to fix the boiler, which had not been working properly at the Claude Road site for two months.

An inspection found parts of the heating system no longer complied with regulations so the centre was shut until further notice.

Purbai Bhudia, who works there, said: “I was informed the centre would be closed until further notice which implies that my return to work on January 5 is not guaranteed.

“I would not like to be jobless at the beginning of the new year.

“Me and my family will suffer the consequences of the sudden closure and I am not happy at all.”

Her colleague Saima Zahid added: “I’m the only source of income for my family of three, as my husband is unemployed, and I have been left jobless and economically unsure.”

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Kaushaliya Bhudia, who has worked at the pre-school for 10 years, said she was suffering “sleepless nights” over the uncertainty of whether she has a job to go back to after the holidays.

She said: “It was very shocking to hear at 3pm on the Friday [December 19] that the centre is closing down for safety purposes.

“It was very hard to understand the sudden changes.

“I’m not sure whether my job is safe or not, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the new year as I have two children and a husband who is dependent on my job as his isn’t steady.”

It isn’t just employees who have been affected by the closure.

Sonal Patel’s three children, aged 10, 13 and 18, used the centre twice a week, and she said they have been left “quite devastated” by the closure.

“They spend a lot of time there, and it’s quite a popular place. Now they have nowhere to go.”

Newham Council could not be reached for a comment, but in a previous statement said they would be carrying out a review of the heating system and the costs involved in reopening the site.

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