Oxford council's facilities sell-off proposal criticised

East Oxford Community Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption Oxford City Council's leader said one option was building housing on the community centre site

A proposal to redevelop an Oxford community centre using £2m raised by selling off other facilities has come under fire.

The city council has produced options for refurbishing the East Oxford Community Centre site in Cowley Road.

They range from doing nothing to selling the current East Oxford Games Hall and Film Oxford sites.

But the city's Green Party said the revamp should not be at the expense of other services.

A council spokesman said the proposed scheme would provide "state of the art modern facilities and a flexible set of spaces for community uses".

But former Green Councillor Elise Benjamin, who has campaigned against the sell-offs, accused the Labour council of changing its position after the elections.

She said: "Of course, we all want to see East Oxford Community Centre improved but not at the expense of other valued facilities.

"It is impossible to conceive of how a remodelled community centre - on a smaller site - might also accommodate the wide range of activities currently housed in the Games Hall and Film Oxford."

Council leader Bob Price said: "The fundamental point is that the centre is at present not fit for purpose and doesn't provide modern, flexible space that is attractive to users."

He added that another option was building housing at the community centre site.

The city council will put the options out to public consultation in the autumn.

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