Essex

Tendring community centre rent decision to be reviewed

A council's decision to stop capping the rent community groups pay to hire its buildings is to be reviewed.

Tendring District Council agreed in November to phase out the scheme which means clubs pay £150 per year, rather than the full market value rate.

The Conservative-run authority needs to save £4.4m from its budget over the next three years.

The decision has been called in by opposition councillors who said some clubs' futures could be jeopardised.

'Silent majority'

Under the council's Community Asset Rents Offsetting Scheme, about 35 clubs lease the buildings at full market rents, but can apply for council grants to subsidise the cost.

The council's decision to phase this out over the next three years could see some clubs paying several thousands of pounds instead.

Councillor Peter Halliday, deputy leader, said the step was necessary to help them meet its reduced budget.

"We're looking at £4.4m worth of savings," he said. "We're talking about Tendring tax payers and each and every one of them are paying their council taxes.

"The silent majority do not use these organisations, yet are still paying for them.

"It's not overnight, it's in three years time. There's absolutely no reason why the organisations should cease running."

He added there were many clubs and organisations in the district that were not part of the scheme, which will be debated by the council next week, but were surviving.

However, Labour councillor Ivan Henderson argued: "This cuts to the heart of the community, these centres and groups are providing value to those communities.

"These are groups that just can't make vast amounts of money to pay these increases."

"[The council] needs to think again and go back to the drawing board."

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