At the start of February, we put up this post about the long term future of the Laindon Community Centre: An uncertain future for a valued community asset. In that post, we highlighted the somewhat ambiguous and confused response from Basildon Council towards residents who rightly wanted some cast iron assurances that the centre had a viable future.
All the while, there has been a grassroots campaign in Laindon fighting to ensure the future of the community centre. They have a Facebook page – Save Laindon Community Centre & Bar – which at the time of writing has 3,497 members. That’s a lot of fed up, angry people who want an answer. Which with the local elections back on for this coming May is not a good thing if you’re a council leader who has started to clock that he’s not exactly well thought of by a growing number of people across Basildon.
Bearing all of this in mind, were we surprised when we read this piece on Basildon Nub News? Council leader’s pledge to Laindon residents over future of centre: ‘If it costs a lot of money, we will spend a lot of money to get that centre back up and running in a proper, fit for purpose way’. There does appear to be a change in attitude from Callaghan with pledges to do whatever it takes moneywise to guarantee the future of the Laindon Community Centre. No we weren’t really surprised – the local elections are coming up in May so it’s time for ‘promises’.
Whether those ‘promises’ are kept is a moot point. However, it’s clear Callaghan has felt obliged to take the views of the residents of Laindon who want a future for their community centre seriously. Callaghan may well deny it but it’s pretty clear that sustained community pressure has brought him to this point.
What’s the message to take away from this? Pressure pays:) So, keep it up and don’t take your foot off the gas until you have achieved a 100% victory…