Plaque unveiled to mark new Portchester hall

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THEY have a long history of falling out with one another but two councillors have united over a £2m community centre.

Tory Councillor Nick Walker and Lib Dem Councillor Roger Price have unveiled a plaque commemorating Portchester Community Centre being built in the year of the Queen’s jubilee.

STONE Cllr Nick Walker, left, and Cllr Roger Price unveil the plaque

STONE Cllr Nick Walker, left, and Cllr Roger Price unveil the plaque

The councillors jointly-funded the £480 plaque from their own pockets.

Cllr Walker said: ‘Roger and I have a long history of serving the council. It seemed sensible to unite over the centre. The stone was laid in the hope that this centre would not become a political football.’

Cllr Price said: ‘Although Cllr Walker and I often disagree on issues, I fully agreed with him when he approached me about a plaque to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

‘I was very happy to share the cost of this memorial plaque.’

Councillors were shown around the centre for the first time including the improved kitchen facilities, the seven rooms that will be available to hire, the children’s centre and the play school.

Cllr Connie Hockley was impressed by the new facilities, especially the kitchen.

She said: ‘It’s a magic kitchen – absolutely superb.’

The centre also incorporates a space for the police to use, which has been provided for free in the hope of deterring anti-social behaviour.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward said: ‘It’s fantastic news for this community. The old centre is well passed its sell-by date.’

The centre is due to open in January and the ground that the existing centre is on will be open to public consultation as to what it will be used for.

Ideas include making a larger car park that would service both the community centre and the nearby health centre and a games area.