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Setback for bids to take over Bourne End day centre
CAMPAIGNERS bidding to take over the running of Bourne End day centre suffered a setback after being told they will have to buy the building after two years.
The volunteer groups competing to take on the Wakeman Road facility say they had previously been offered a 25-year lease at a peppercorn rent by Bucks County Council.
Jim Penfold, chairman of one of the groups - The Friends of Bourne End Day Centre – said that offer was a key part of their plan, but stressed he was still determined to hammer out an agreement.
Detailed plans were also submitted to the council earlier this year by campaigners from the Tardis SOS group (see related links).
Many feel the centre should be gifted to the community as villagers raised £45,000 to help build it in the 1980s.
But Patricia Birchley, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, said a lot of council funding had also gone into the building over the years.
She told the Bucks Free Press: “Our terms are that we’ll give them two years at a peppercorn rent.
“That building is surplus to county council requirements and we have to be mindful of our council taxpayers.
“We think two years is a fair time to be able to raise the funds. It would be sold at community-use value, not market value. It would be at quite possibly half the commercial value of the building.
“We think that’s a fair deal and Princes Risborough accepted that.”
The volunteer groups were formed after the council announced plans in 2010 to sell off about 20 day centres around the county and focus its services in more central locations (see related links).