Community centre needs more than sticking plaster

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DURING the extreme cold weather in December a burst pipe caused severe flooding and a collapsed ceiling at Norwood & Bishopsholme Community Centre. It is now the beginning of March and the centre is still not open.

I appreciate there were other problems caused by the bad weather and council housing must take priority, but the centre is vital to the community.

There are well-attended classes for IT, art and drawing, local history, keep fit, as well as bingo evenings, meetings and social events. People attending the classes will have lost a full term and I worry that some will find other, more reliable venues, and not return. This could result in the end of classes for the others if there are not enough people to enrol next term, assuming the centre will be open again by then.

The centre is the heart of this community and to lots of elderly people who live alone it is a lifeline. All the time it is closed they are missing the friends they meet there.

I am sincerely hoping that the long delay with repairs is because a new heating system is being installed. The present one has been in over 30 years and is well past its sell by date. It has broken down so many times in the last few years that a lot of classes have been unable to complete a full term and important meetings and councillors’ surgeries have had to be cancelled.

Let’s hope the insurance cover will compensate for any loss or damage to important fund-raising items left on display or in storage as well as a new carpet.

I appeal to whoever is responsible for the centre, to give it a better, and more reliable heating system. It is 2011, not the Victorian era. Please renew the heart of this community, don’t just stick another plaster on it.

Mrs J Shutt, Sheffield S5