New community hub for Southend town centre?

Julian Ware-Lane at Warrior Square gardens

Julian Ware-Lane at Warrior Square gardens

First published in News Exclusive by

A new community centre could be built on the old Warrior Square swimming pool site or part of the flattened Queensway Estate.

The Labour group on Southend Council wants to bring a community centre back to the town centre less than a year after the Focus Centre closed down.

The group has revealed some of the possible sites for a new centre, including the old Warrior Square swimming pool site, and the recently-flattened parts of the Queensway estate, or even leasing empty shops off landlords.

Ian Gilbert, Labour leader and deputy leader of the council, is looking at the proposals because there are no community or youth centres in Southend town centre.

Mr Gilbert, who represents Victoria ward, said: “It is certainlymy opinion there is a need for a facility like this in the town centre, especially after Focus House closed down. It has been one of our priorities, but we need to know what people think and we will be launching a consultation soon to establish what kind of need there is.

“If we were to go down the route of building a new community centre, then we’d perhaps look to do it with a partner. Land is a big cost, but I’m talking about land we already own.”

Land behind Quantock tower block, in Queensway, could be used, as could the empty plot where the Warrior Square swimming pool, which closed in 2010, once stood.

The consultation is expected to be sent out in the coming months, and that will influence what type of facilities a new centre could offer.

Mr Gilbert claims any new build could be funded by cash from developers, or even partly funded by a development partner.

Fellow Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane, who represents the Milton ward in the town centre, added: “I would like an old-fashioned community centre, a multi-use facility for young people as we have none in the town centre.”

Comments (19)

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10:02am Thu 21 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Why not just leave it as a nice green open space...
Why not just leave it as a nice green open space... sesibollox
  • Score: 14

10:09am Thu 21 Aug 14

w-jback says...

looks like the new administration are try to p!ss away as much money as possible before they lose control of the council again next year. A Community centre in the centre of Southend, have they seen the local "Community"? I can't believe there isn't an unused building nearby that couldn't be done up rather than a new build.
looks like the new administration are try to p!ss away as much money as possible before they lose control of the council again next year. A Community centre in the centre of Southend, have they seen the local "Community"? I can't believe there isn't an unused building nearby that couldn't be done up rather than a new build. w-jback
  • Score: 18

10:40am Thu 21 Aug 14

jayman says...

w-jback wrote:
looks like the new administration are try to p!ss away as much money as possible before they lose control of the council again next year. A Community centre in the centre of Southend, have they seen the local "Community"? I can't believe there isn't an unused building nearby that couldn't be done up rather than a new build.
what!! the last administration brought us with our money.

. A seafront water feature that doesn't work.
. Shared space road layouts that don't work and have needed constant alteration
. Council commissioned art that didn't work as intended.
. A university facility masquerading as a shoebox library.
. closure of childrens' facilities.
. A warrior square kiosk that has been empty for most of its life. Didn't research the physical and mechanical realities of the flower canopy that was supposed to go on top.
. Huge land sale income and resource that where disproportionately allocated to southend airport operations.
. Civic centre refurbishment x2.
. closure of town centre leisure facilities.
. A relatively small glass box at the end of the pier that nobody uses.

-----

Having a centre that the community can actually 'use' is by far the most appropriate use of council funds when considering the actions of the last administration.
[quote][p][bold]w-jback[/bold] wrote: looks like the new administration are try to p!ss away as much money as possible before they lose control of the council again next year. A Community centre in the centre of Southend, have they seen the local "Community"? I can't believe there isn't an unused building nearby that couldn't be done up rather than a new build.[/p][/quote]what!! the last administration brought us with our money. . A seafront water feature that doesn't work. . Shared space road layouts that don't work and have needed constant alteration . Council commissioned art that didn't work as intended. . A university facility masquerading as a shoebox library. . closure of childrens' facilities. . A warrior square kiosk that has been empty for most of its life. Didn't research the physical and mechanical realities of the flower canopy that was supposed to go on top. . Huge land sale income and resource that where disproportionately allocated to southend airport operations. . Civic centre refurbishment x2. . closure of town centre leisure facilities. . A relatively small glass box at the end of the pier that nobody uses. ----- Having a centre that the community can actually 'use' is by far the most appropriate use of council funds when considering the actions of the last administration. jayman
  • Score: 4

11:26am Thu 21 Aug 14

The Southend Observer says...

Oh good! Somewhere warm for the nearby Warrior Square alcoholics, junkies and other itinerant neerdowells to gather in the winter!
Oh good! Somewhere warm for the nearby Warrior Square alcoholics, junkies and other itinerant neerdowells to gather in the winter! The Southend Observer
  • Score: 7

11:58am Thu 21 Aug 14

jayman says...

The Southend Observer wrote:
Oh good! Somewhere warm for the nearby Warrior Square alcoholics, junkies and other itinerant neerdowells to gather in the winter!
old warrior square, homeless gather
new warrior square, homeless gather
any future warrior square, homeless likely to gather.

It seems to me that we need drug rehab centres and hostels where garons park is and a leisure/community centre where warrior square is.

move the vulnerable away from dugs and the social problems of inner towns and cities. Move the facilities that people use to the inner towns. though this may come which a degree of objection to the people living in the countryside who enjoy the bubble of social sanitation.
[quote][p][bold]The Southend Observer[/bold] wrote: Oh good! Somewhere warm for the nearby Warrior Square alcoholics, junkies and other itinerant neerdowells to gather in the winter![/p][/quote]old warrior square, homeless gather new warrior square, homeless gather any future warrior square, homeless likely to gather. It seems to me that we need drug rehab centres and hostels where garons park is and a leisure/community centre where warrior square is. move the vulnerable away from dugs and the social problems of inner towns and cities. Move the facilities that people use to the inner towns. though this may come which a degree of objection to the people living in the countryside who enjoy the bubble of social sanitation. jayman
  • Score: -7

12:09pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

sesibollox wrote:
Why not just leave it as a nice green open space...
Exactly. There are plenty of empty office and retail in the town but very little green space.
[quote][p][bold]sesibollox[/bold] wrote: Why not just leave it as a nice green open space...[/p][/quote]Exactly. There are plenty of empty office and retail in the town but very little green space. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 11

2:21pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Lireal says...

They aren't talking about building on the green space... the area in question is currently being used as a car park. Where the pool used to be.
They aren't talking about building on the green space... the area in question is currently being used as a car park. Where the pool used to be. Lireal
  • Score: 2

3:25pm Thu 21 Aug 14

jayman says...

Just to be clear, the Tory plan was to sell the land to Regis for development into flats I believe. So the green space or community use option would have been out of the window.
Just to be clear, the Tory plan was to sell the land to Regis for development into flats I believe. So the green space or community use option would have been out of the window. jayman
  • Score: 3

4:00pm Thu 21 Aug 14

Nebs says...

Any project with the word 'community' in it is generally aimed at a small minority of the local community.
Any project with the word 'community' in it is generally aimed at a small minority of the local community. Nebs
  • Score: 5

4:23pm Thu 21 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Make an ideal location for the planned South East Muslim centre, which already has Government funding
Make an ideal location for the planned South East Muslim centre, which already has Government funding sesibollox
  • Score: -2

6:02pm Thu 21 Aug 14

southendfanman says...

jayman wrote:
Just to be clear, the Tory plan was to sell the land to Regis for development into flats I believe. So the green space or community use option would have been out of the window.
Regis own part of the land and they own the par that allows access ? I bet it will be sold , just because they are looking at the site just for sound bites does not mean they will get it.
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: Just to be clear, the Tory plan was to sell the land to Regis for development into flats I believe. So the green space or community use option would have been out of the window.[/p][/quote]Regis own part of the land and they own the par that allows access ? I bet it will be sold , just because they are looking at the site just for sound bites does not mean they will get it. southendfanman
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Thu 21 Aug 14

ravnos says...

How about a nice swimming pool there? 10 minute walk from all the main public transport services, and would serve the town that don't want to/can't drive to Garons. Could have a free carpark for anyone using the services too....
How about a nice swimming pool there? 10 minute walk from all the main public transport services, and would serve the town that don't want to/can't drive to Garons. Could have a free carpark for anyone using the services too.... ravnos
  • Score: 5

6:31pm Thu 21 Aug 14

charwen says...

would be nice to have a swimming pool back in the town
would be nice to have a swimming pool back in the town charwen
  • Score: 5

7:25pm Thu 21 Aug 14

rob-wos says...

Lireal wrote:
They aren't talking about building on the green space... the area in question is currently being used as a car park. Where the pool used to be.
No, the green patch in Warrior Square used to be the swimming pool. They grassed it over to create a green space. The Car Park I believe belongs to a private company.
[quote][p][bold]Lireal[/bold] wrote: They aren't talking about building on the green space... the area in question is currently being used as a car park. Where the pool used to be.[/p][/quote]No, the green patch in Warrior Square used to be the swimming pool. They grassed it over to create a green space. The Car Park I believe belongs to a private company. rob-wos
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Thu 21 Aug 14

jayman says...

southendfanman wrote:
jayman wrote:
Just to be clear, the Tory plan was to sell the land to Regis for development into flats I believe. So the green space or community use option would have been out of the window.
Regis own part of the land and they own the par that allows access ? I bet it will be sold , just because they are looking at the site just for sound bites does not mean they will get it.
The local Tories are/where networked heavily with every scumbag business this side of the estuary. Sun shelters for some. Prime town centre Land or council contracts for others. You couldn't/cant 'Do business' with the Tories any other way. It explains a lot about southend I suppose. Nepotism and questionable decisions that went beyond the realm of 'in the public interest'.
[quote][p][bold]southendfanman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: Just to be clear, the Tory plan was to sell the land to Regis for development into flats I believe. So the green space or community use option would have been out of the window.[/p][/quote]Regis own part of the land and they own the par that allows access ? I bet it will be sold , just because they are looking at the site just for sound bites does not mean they will get it.[/p][/quote]The local Tories are/where networked heavily with every scumbag business this side of the estuary. Sun shelters for some. Prime town centre Land or council contracts for others. You couldn't/cant 'Do business' with the Tories any other way. It explains a lot about southend I suppose. Nepotism and questionable decisions that went beyond the realm of 'in the public interest'. jayman
  • Score: 1

3:38pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Alfiee says...

The Southend Observer wrote:
Oh good! Somewhere warm for the nearby Warrior Square alcoholics, junkies and other itinerant neerdowells to gather in the winter!
You took the words right out of my mouth.
[quote][p][bold]The Southend Observer[/bold] wrote: Oh good! Somewhere warm for the nearby Warrior Square alcoholics, junkies and other itinerant neerdowells to gather in the winter![/p][/quote]You took the words right out of my mouth. Alfiee
  • Score: 3

11:45am Fri 12 Sep 14

annio68 says...

I can't wait to welcome even more reprobates, alcoholics and drug abusers to the area.....will they all get 3 meals a day as well.....???
makes paying my Council Tax worthwhile.....
We want rid of the ones we have here all hours of day and night, not new ones...!!!!
I can't wait to welcome even more reprobates, alcoholics and drug abusers to the area.....will they all get 3 meals a day as well.....??? makes paying my Council Tax worthwhile..... We want rid of the ones we have here all hours of day and night, not new ones...!!!! annio68
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Wed 17 Sep 14

Southender before you were says...

:) Rob-Wos > The green warrior square park never had the swimming pool on it, the pool was across the road to the park. Warrior square park used to have a fence all the way round with gates and has been there for many many years ,but recently got 'updated' to open space. I was born in Whitegate Road back in the 50's and as a small child used to go frequently with family to the park. The newer car park facing the houses in Whitegate Road, quite a few years ago were also houses where friends and family were born and at the back of the houses was warrior square clinic which was then demolished to build warrior square swimming pool, again now demolished for car park.
:) Rob-Wos > The green warrior square park never had the swimming pool on it, the pool was across the road to the park. Warrior square park used to have a fence all the way round with gates and has been there for many many years ,but recently got 'updated' to open space. I was born in Whitegate Road back in the 50's and as a small child used to go frequently with family to the park. The newer car park facing the houses in Whitegate Road, quite a few years ago were also houses where friends and family were born and at the back of the houses was warrior square clinic which was then demolished to build warrior square swimming pool, again now demolished for car park. Southender before you were
  • Score: 1

10:38pm Wed 17 Sep 14

Southender before you were says...

The scruffy green on the other side was where the swimming pool used to be.
The scruffy green on the other side was where the swimming pool used to be. Southender before you were
  • Score: 0

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