Daventry District Council bids to transfer community centres to town council before being abolished

Proposals are being drawn up to transfer three community centres in Daventry from the district council to the town council.

By James Averill
Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 2:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 2:40 pm
Daventry District Council is considering transferring three community centres over to the town council, including Mayfield Park (top) and Southbrook Community Centre (bottom right).
Daventry District Council is considering transferring three community centres over to the town council, including Mayfield Park (top) and Southbrook Community Centre (bottom right).

Southbrook Community Centre (SCC), the Nene Hall on the Grange (also known as the Tamar Square Community Centre), and Mayfield Park on Timken form part of the package which could potentially be transferred over to the town council – with the district council set to be abolished next year and replaced by the new West Northamptonshire unitary council (WNC).

The three venues had been considered as part of a first tranche of assets that were handed over to the town council last year, alongside the market and the cemetery at Welton Road.

However, it was deemed ‘too much to absorb’ at the time, but now the plans are being revisited and will be discussed by both councils this month.

A report was voted on at Daventry District Council’s strategy meeting on July 9, recommending that councillors decide to transfer the facilities over if the town council (DTC) still wishes to take them on. That recommendation is set to be ratified by the full council when it meets on Thursday (July 23).

The report stated: “These have no strategic significance and are unlikely ever to produce a financial benefit to this council or its successor. They are, however, useful community facilities. It is proposed that, if DTC wishes, these are transferred to DTC for a nominal consideration on terms which protect their continued community use. This should help ensure they continue to meet local needs whilst removing any future financial risk from this council or its successor.”

It adds: “It is proposed that DTC be permitted to take on ownership of one, two or all three of the centres as it determines. Whilst it would be logical for it to take all three if it takes any, there is no obvious detriment or this council or WNC if DTC was to take less than three.”

The transfers would be on a freehold basis, subject to a right for the new unitary council to use them as polling stations in the future.

The SCC and Mayfield Park are let on short term arrangements with local community groups, but the Nene Hall is on a long lease. Mayfield Park, while primarily considered a sporting club, is considered as a community centre by the authority.