Alton Activity Centre – what the heck is going on?

‘Social regeneration’ is something which the Roehampton and Putney Heath ward Councillors have been raising since the 2014 December Roehampton Partnership meeting. Well, how can residents put their faith in them if they appear to have let the closure of the Alton Activity Centre slip through through net?

For background reading the following may be of interest;

Alton Regeneration Watch article provides background as to what this is all about.

The folks challenging this have a facebook page with further information.

The Alton Regeneration Watch also has an online petition with a video by London Live which has residents speaking about why the Alton Activity Centre is so important and this was on London Live.

Though the timeline of what has happened makes for an interesting read. The story, if possible, will be updated as more information comes to hand. This timeline is by no means exhaustive of what has happened though does provide some background as to what has been happening.

This was a huge own goal for the Alton estate and residents have to ask, what are our representatives doing????

Date Description
1st April Wandsworth Guardian website publishes – ‘Alton Activity Centre: children enjoy “leaving party” as Spurgeon’s contract comes to an end’
31st March Alton Activity Centre farewell Easter Party
31st March Wandsworth Guardian letter by Robin Bishop, Alton Estate resident, highlights the reduced services being offered by the Council and asks the Council to reveal what their true plans are.
24th March Wandsworth Guardian letter by Zahra Ali, Alton Estate resident, highlights that impacted families have had no consultation about the kind of provision that is required by parents and children
21st March A well attended local event held at the DARA in support of the Alton Activity Centre. In the main organised by Wandsworth Against Cuts and supported by local Roehampton groups the ARW and the Roehampton Forum.

This was also commented on in the Wandsworth Guardian.

The poster for the meeting.

15th March The Roehampton Partnership had Zahra Ali and another parent impacted by the plight of the closure of the Alton Activity Centre speak at this meeting. Rather unusually this was asked to go to a vote by the Roehampton Forum member and the vote was in support of the Alton Activity Centre. Only two voted against, these being Councillors Sutters and Ellis, both members of the Council Executive and members of the party that are in favour of closing the current facilities.

Additionally, this was the first time the ‘flyer’ referred at the ‘Council’ meeting of 9th March.

10th March Wandsworth Guardian article by Roehampton Labour Councillor about the ‘half baked’ proposals for the Alton Activity Centre.
9th March At the Wandsworth ‘Council’ meeting there is a mention of a ‘flyer is currently being produced to keep the local community up to date with what is happening to the Centre and this will be made available to the local community by the end of next week’, making this the 18th March, then how is it possible that some impacted families stated at the DARA meeting of 21st March that they hadn’t seen this ‘flyer’?
2nd March Putneysw15 website publishes ‘Save Alton Centre’ Campaign Produce Music Video’ which contains “A local campaign group has produced a music video featuring local children as part of their protest at planned changes at the Alton Activity Centre. The video features children from the Alton Activity All Stars doing their version of a Queen classic”.
13th February putneysw15  publishes an article titled – Campaigners Believe Plans For Alton Centre ‘Questionable & Vague’ – which refers to what is happening regarding the situation.
12th February Wandsworth Council website publishes an article – “Agreement nears on deal to continue family services at Alton activity centre”.
11th February Wandsworth Council Committee meeting – Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Item number 14 “Alton Activity Centre (Paper No.16-44)” was voted down 3 versus 7. Parents impacted by the Alton Activity Centre reduction in services spoke at this meeting.
11th February Wandsworth Guardian letter by Brian Cairns, Save Our Alton Activity Centre, questions whether the Council’s revised services will meet the needs to families.
11th February Putney Labour Party Roehampton News  has an article regarding this in “Save Our Centre from Tory Cuts”.
3rd February VoteRoehampton spots that Labour voted for closing the Alton Activity Centre and then changes its mind. 
25th January London Live makes a video highlighting the Alton Activity Centre situation
25th January Wandsworth Guardian website publishes – “Kids not cuts”: Campaigners take to the streets of Roehampton to keep Spurgeon’s contract in Alton Activity Centre
13th January Wandsworth Guardian website publishes  – “Roehampton parents say children will miss out if Alton Activity Centre is closed”
23rd December Wandsworth Guardian website publishes – “ Roehampton activity centre to close in Spring ending years of after school and holiday care ”.

This is an interesting comment: “Alton Activity Centre, in the Roehampton regeneration area, has been run by a charity called Spurgeon’s, but the contract will end in March 2016, after Wandsworth Council made the decision to end it in November 2011”.

WHY DID IT TAKE FOUR YEARS TO CHALLENGE THIS?

1st December Roehampton Partnership (missed opportunity?):

It has to be asked why the Alton Activity Centre was not discussed at this meeting? There were the three ward Labour Councillors and the Reverend McKinney. This was the second missed opportunity to raise this issue in a meaningful manner and have other Roehampton bodies possibly support the Alton Activity Centre.

19th November Wandsworth Council Committee meeting – “Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee” – The Alton Activity Centre is not directly referred to though is mentioned within item 112, “Early Years Review (Paper. No. 15-437). At this Committee meeting this item was passed “unanimously”!!! Wow, so Labour Councillors even agreed with this motion. The Reverend McKinney did not attend the committee, and there may have been good reason for not attending, though it does not neglect mentioning to the ward Councillors or to the Labour council meeting attendees that this was a potential pitfall. 

‘Social regeneration’ should start, at least, with an interest in the Council items that could put a dent in the provision of community facilities. In terms of a pass or fail, this seems to be a ‘fail’.

Anyone else, any thoughts?

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8 responses to “Alton Activity Centre – what the heck is going on?”

  1. roeregeneration says :

    The article – February 13th 2016 – putneysw15 – Campaigners Believe Plans For Alton Centre ‘Questionable & Vague’ – has been added to this article.

  2. Alton East Resident says :

    Paper 15-437 is pretty clear on the fate of the services provided from Alton Activity Centre – see below. But there was no Roehampton representative present there: Rev McKinney was absent on the night (19th November 2015).

    Legacy Family Support Contracts

    60. There is currently a separately commissioned Family Support offer available through Children‟s Centres, delivered through the provision of three contracts across three localities, Battersea, Tooting and Roehampton. These legacy contracts grew out of the Children‟s Fund and Sure Start Local Projects which pre-date Troubled Families by some years. These legacy contracts end in March 2016 and it is recommended that the option to renew these contracts is not taken up and that Family Support delivered through Children‟s Centres is undertaken by the Council‟s Troubled Families team.

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