Essex

Tendring community centre rent decision approved

A council's decision to stop capping the rent community groups pay to hire its buildings has been approved.

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

The decision by the Conservative-led authority had been called in by opposition councillors.

A scrutiny meeting on Monday backed the plans, but called for a review into their impact.

The chair of the Community Leadership and Partnerships Committee, Councillor Dyleth Miles, said the review would take place within six months.

She said: "There will be no increased rent for another three years, so in effect we are giving the organisations using these properties three years' notice."

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

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.

Its deputy leader, Peter Halliday, had previously said the step was necessary to help the council meet its reduced budget.

However, Labour councillor Ivan Henderson had argued the move could put some clubs' futures in jeopardy.

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