Decision on Portchester Community Centre’s new lease queried

PLANS The new Portchester Community Centre
PLANS The new Portchester Community Centre
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THE decision over who will run a new £2m community centre has been called in for scrutiny in a bid to have it overturned.

Fareham Borough Council’s ruling executive voted for Portchester Community School to run the new Portchester Community Centre when it opens at the end of the year.

The only other body to enter a bid had been the Portchester Community Association (PCA), which has been responsible for the existing centre at Westlands Grove since its opening in the 1960s.

Portchester councillor Roger Price has asked for the decision to be called before the authority’s scrutiny board.

And the PCA is also looking into legal action against the decision.

Cllr Price said: ‘In my opinion there were a number of issues which weren’t given enough due attention by the executive. I’ve called it in for scrutiny under a number of items, some of which are already in the public arena, and some which aren’t.

‘But that includes some that should be out in public.’

Cllr Price’s concerns include those about the two business plans and the way they were evaluated by councillors.

Dozens of supporters of the PCA had turned up at a special meeting of executive on June 18, when the decision was made. A petition backing the PCA with 1,511 names on it was also presented.

The scrutiny board will make a recommendation back to the full council and another vote taken.

Sarah Moss, the centre’s manager said: ‘The PCA is taking legal advice as to the viability of a challenge should the decision of the council remain in favour of the school.

‘The PCA would welcome any evidence in support of its case by members of the public to be submitted to the chairman, the PCA Board of Trustees, care of the community centre.’

The scrutiny board will meet in public at the civic offices on Friday at 5pm.