Community campus: clarification sought

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Concerns about the future of Brechin’s service centre provision were raised at the latest meeting of the City of Brechin and District Community Council (writes Shona Beaton).

Although members of the group all agree that they want the very best for the school they are concerned about Angus Council’s neighbourhood services department’s plan for developing a ‘community owned and managed service centre’ and a Brechin Sports Hub.

In a discussion about the current proposals for the new community campus at Brechin High School it was highlighted that Angus Council had proposals for the development of community sports hubs in Angus, leaving councillors concerned that this could mean the relocation of Brechin Leisure Centre to the new school campus.

As part of this project, four community sports hubs have been identified, including one in Brechin that ties in with the re-building of Brechin High School.

The community sport hub initiative, sportscotland’s contribution to the Scottish Government’s 2014 legacy plan, is designed to increase the number of people of all ages participating in sport in communities across Scotland.

In a report of the neighbourhood services committee it was stated that the re-building of Brechin High School over the next two or three years will give opportunities to develop a hub within a brand new community campus.

It is envisaged that a new infrastructure can be put in place now to allow this new venue to be the basis for a hub in the Brechin and surrounding area in the future.

It was also reported that there appears to be interest from hockey, rugby and cricket clubs in Brechin to look at proposals for a joint facility.

The group will also seek to have it clarified what the council means by having a “community owned and managed service centre” in Brechin.

Angus Council has stated that some of the services identified that could be operated from such a centre included voluntary and volunteering services, community social facilities, housing services and police, fire, ambulance and NHS services.

It was agreed that the convener for the group, Grahame Lockhart, would contact Angus Council again for clarification on these matters.

“Community Council members are concerned that several initiatives that could change service provision in Brechin are being explored simultaneously without the community being fully aware,” commented Grahame.

“I believe it is essential that we seek clarity and full open consultation with the whole community so that we can understand all that is being planned.”

At the same meeting, a motion supporting the work done to make Brechin a Fairtrade City and a commitment to consider options for further promotion of Fairtrade products within the city was agreed. Progress will be reported in due course. In the run-up to the Angus Council elections Brechin Community Council has organised a hustings to take place on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 pm or 7.30 pm.

The venue for this event will be confirmed closer to the date. The next meeting will take place at 7.30 pm on April 3, venue to be confirmed.