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Cllr. Alan Salter says: “The Westcroft Centre in Westcroft Road will close this Autumn to allow major refurbishments to take place, including improved leisure facilities and the building of the new Carshalton Library.
The Council has just granted planning permission for the “Refurbishment, enlargement and cladding of the existing building, incorporating a part one part two storey front extension, a two storey rear extension and raised parapet walls all to provide additional sporting and leisure accommodation, public library and café together with car, coach, cycle, motorcycle, refuse and recycling facilities and associated lighting and landscaping”.
Cllr. Hamish Pollock adds: “Alternative leisure facilities are being provided all over the borough, including at the local Sutton Arena in the northern part of Carshalton and at Cheam Leisure Centre, whilst the building works take place. No-one should miss out, and it will be worth the wait to see the new state of the art facilities next year.”
Cllr. Jill Whitehead says: “The police will be patrolling the area to ensure no crime or anti social behaviour will take place at or near the building site, during the redevelopment. The new Westcroft Centre is scheduled to re-open at around the time of the London Olympics in 2012.”
Local Committee chairman, Cllr. Hamish Pollock reports: “Over seventy local residents came to the recent Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee on 15th September, to listen to and discuss ideas for protecting Carshalton’s historic buildings. It proved to be a highly successful event.”
“A local historic buildings expert talked about The Lodge, Stonecourt and The Grove, for which new uses will need to be found, if the Council decides to move staff to the Civic Offices, Sutton in a few years’ time under the One Council, One Roof project.”
Local Committee Vice-Chair Cllr. Jill Whitehead says: “During the summer the Council consulted a number of local groups to seek suggestions as to proposed new uses for these buildings. We talked to The Friends of the Grove, The Friends of Carshalton Park, Friends of The Water Tower, The Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre, Westmead Allotments Association, and also the Carshalton Society.
Two of the groups made presentations at the meeting namely Friends of the Grove and Friends of the Ecology Centre. They were joined by Sutton Council for Voluntary Service who put forward a proposal to use The Grove as a voluntary sector “hub” for local groups, and Eco-Local, a well-known local environmental organisation which proposed using The Lodge and The Old Rectory as a major local centre for environmental research and activity.”
Cllr. Alan Salter adds: “The Council will now take all the ideas forward for further consideration. The Council’s Executive Committee will meet in November to assess if the One Council project should go ahead. If it does, it will be discussed in detail at further Local Committee meetings in December 2011 and April 2012, before any final decisions on buildings uses are made.”
“Owing to the new government’s stringent spending cuts, Sutton Council is being forced to find budget reductions of up to 25% in its leisure, recreation, sports, library and parks services (this amounts to about £900,000). However, efficiency savings can be made by integrating similar or complementary services in one site, reducing the huge maintenance costs, but at the same time improving local services to local residents”.
Cllr. Hamish Pollock says:
“Sutton Council is already committed to re-building and modernising the Westcroft Leisure Centre here in Carshalton, and financial reserves have been set aside for this. It is also being proposed that a new Carshalton Library should be provided as part of this rebuild, in much the same way that new local libraries have been provided at the new Phoenix Centre at Roundshaw and at the brand new Life Centre in Sutton. The existing Carshalton library building (which is a “Listed” Building) would be then sold to realise funds for the new service”.
Cllr. Jill Whitehead says:
“The library would be situated in a larger space on the ground floor of the new Westcroft Leisure Centre, off the reception area. It would have the benefit of on-site parking, a café, and public-use Internet PCs. The library would be self-service allowing it to be open for much longer hours each day – for example the Sutton Life Centre library is currently open weekdays until 7pm and will shortly be extending its hours to 9.30pm, with Sunday opening hours of 10am-5pm.”
We would like residents to be part of the planning process for the new combined Library and Leisure Centre, and welcome your ideas about what should be included.