I apologise that there has been such a long gap in our communications regarding this subject but we were awaiting an agreement from Bristol City Council on how to progress things. This has now been secured and so I am now able to update people on what role SPU will be taking in this process.
Following the Mayor’s visit to the centre in December 2013, we have been negotiating with the council regarding carrying out a consultation. Things moved quite quickly but no decision was reached until this week. This is why no updates or meetings have happened regarding this situation – we had no information to give you!
As you may be aware, the Mayor’s revised budget reinstated the subsidy for the Learning Centre for the coming financial year only – 2014/15. This is to ensure that a Community Asset Transfer process can take place, enabling an organisation, other than the local authority to run the building.
If there is an organisation that wants to take on the management of the building, the city council wants to make sure that they know what the local community wants the centre to be and do in the future.
In order to achieve this SPU have been asked to carry out a consultation to find out what people think about the centre and what it should be used for.
The consultation will include;
• A leaflet delivered to all households in St Pauls, giving information about the current situation
• A door to door survey
• An online survey
• Drop in events held at the centre
• Focus groups for communities of interest who may be missed during the survey – to ensure we reach all sections of the community
This will all start at an event on Thursday 13th March, 5-6 pm at The Learning and Family Centre.
At this meeting you will be able to find out more about Community Asset Transfer (CAT), how to get involved in the consultation, and information about an opportunity to join an advisory group. The advisory group will help to organise consultation events, will review and inform the results of the consultation and will assist the City Council in the CAT process by being part of the awarding panel.
In order to ensure a transparent process we welcome residents, who don’t have a direct link with any organisation who may be interested in running the building to volunteer to join the group – if you are interested please get in touch with us.
To clarify, the consultation is the only part of the process that SPU will be actively involved in. The SPU Coordinating Body are NOT interested in managing the centre in any way. We are keen to ensure that people have the opportunity to influence the CAT process though, which is why we have agreed to run this consultation.
Further updates on consultation stages will be sent out in the near future.