Keep Our Community Centre Open Demonstration in Leigh-on-sea

March 8, 2024

This week demonstrators gathered outside Leigh-on-sea Community Centre to peacefully protest against staff suspensions and the running of the Centre amid rumours of its potential closure.

Jean Le Thornton one of the protest organisers and keen supporters of the centre commented “On Wednesday afternoon I received the news that the office staff had been asked to leave the centre and had been suspended, myself and my supporters decided to protest to support not only the staff who had been suspended but all the staff at the Centre”.

Anna Firth MP for Southend commented “recent events at Leigh Town Council are deeply concerning and residents are rightly demanding clarity and answers. I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Locum Town Clerk, in order to get an impartial version of events although I have no jurisdiction, influence or official monitoring role at Leigh Town Council. I will update residents with whatever information I am able to share”.

Although the protest was peaceful and non-threatening the police were called to investigate and no arrests were made. As far as we know, from the regular accounts provided, it seems the Community Centre is not only a vital community hub but also a financially viable business. The Centre is of course owned by Southend Council and leased to Leigh Town Council with beneficial rent terms but on the proviso it can terminate the lease with just 90 days notice to Southend City Council.

The above may well be a political tactic for closing the Centre in the light of countrywide Councils dwindling budgets but we are sure this is something for the whole community to vote upon as we do all pay extra on our Council Tax towards the running of Leigh Town Council.


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