As far as we can tell the flyer for new services offered at the Alton Activity Centre has not been widely distributed as of yet. The timeline, from what we have been able to piece together is highlighted below. If anyone has further information which can improve the timeline below, can you please share this with us.
- 9th March – the Council stated that the flyer would be ready by the end of ‘next week’ making it the 18th March (the questions where this was mentioned is below)
- 15th March – it was shared at the Roehampton Partnership.
- 21st March – At the meeting of the Alton Activity Centre at the DARA it did not seem to widely known about as the flyer was news to at least one mother whom not only uses the Alton Activity Centre but has been campaigning to keep the current services.
|(18) Alton Activity Centre 1: Question asked by Councillor Belton of the Cabinet
Member for Education and Children’s Services –The Cabinet Member will recall that, at the last OSC meeting, I moved, and Councillor Ben Johnson seconded, a motion to make £52,179 available as a contingency to fund any expenditure require to provide ongoing services at the Alton Activity Centre. The motion was defeated by 7 votes to 3.
At the OSC meeting, you stated that the new services you proposed for the Alton
Activity Centre would be financed from within existing budgets. Could you please detail the services you propose to provide together with their annual costs and the funding streams and amounts with which it is proposed to support them?
At the OSC meeting there was much discussion about how services would still be delivered from the Alton Activity Centre. However, I was very clear that we were not intending to replicate the current arrangements. I advised that we were in discussion with a prime provider about use of the building. This provider will deliver the majority of services from the building once established but we identified at Committee in November that the provider would need some time to work up their offer.
Secondly, we identified that the Council was keen to secure services on an interim basis. Some of these services could continue to be provided in the longer term and will make use not of new funding but of existing budgets. In effect, the premises will become a preferred venue for delivering existing activity. For example, when we provide Parenting Groups from the centre, it will not be provided in addition to what is already on offer, it will simply be moved to the preferred venue and will of course be available to the local community.
Identifying the costs is therefore difficult. Some of the resourcing, for example the market rental value of the centre of £10,000 per annum, which will not be passed on to a new occupier, will be in kind. I have therefore tried to estimate the cost as best as I am able.
We will be providing play activities through the Play Rangers for three afternoons a week during school holidays and two days per week, after school during term-times until further notice. I estimate this will cost around £12,000 per annum – this will come from the Holiday Play Budget.
The Parenting Group Work Service will deliver three, 12 week parenting groups at a
cost of around £5,000 per group, a total of £15,000 per annum; this will come from the Family Recovery Project budget.
Stay and Play sessions, Baby Massage, Health Services and Adult and Family Learning will also be delivered at the venue by the local Children’s Centre’s multiagency staff team and I am not at this time able to assign an exact value to this work, or that of the prime provider.
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.
|(25) Alton Activity Centre 2: Question asked by Councillor Lewer of the Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services – There has been much local concern at the Council’s decision to terminate Spurgeon’s contract and offer the facility to another provider. Could the Cabinet Member update me on the reasons for the termination, plans for a new provider and what this will mean to the local community?
Answer: The contract let to Spurgeons is a borough-wide which includes the Alton Activity Centre as office space but also space from which to deliver some of their service in the local area. The contract currently let to Spurgeons is a three year contract which ceases at the end April 2016. This contract began prior to the development of our Family Recovery Programme (FRP) which is currently fully funded by the DCLG and provides support to the whole family in a robust way.
The FRP has a good success rate in supporting families who need help and although in the early stages of its development, it worked mainly with families with teenage parents, its remit has extended to cover families with children of all ages. As a consequence the Council has taken the decision not to re-tender the contract currently held by Spurgeons. FRP services will be amongst a number of activities that will be delivered from the Centre, as will a Play Ranger Service. The Local Children’s Centre also wishes to deliver outreach activity including Stay and Play Session, Baby Massage, Health Services and Adult and Family Learning We are also speaking to a local provider who wishes to create an arts and community hub and café service.
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.
For more information:
- Alton Regeneration Watch article ‘Alton Activity Centre – going, going….gone?’
- Alton Activity Centre – what the heck is going on – blog article which details the various goings on of the situation
- Save Our Centre public meeting, Monday 21 March, 6pm, Alton Estate
- Alton Activity Centre farewell Easter Party – details about the farewell party
Email us at – firstname.lastname@example.org – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.
Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;
Peter Carpenter – email@example.com
Jeremy Ambache – JAmbache@wandsworth.gov.uk
Sue McKinney – SMcKinney@wandsworth.gov.uk
Or email the Wandsworth Council team managing the ‘regeneration’
Team Roehampton – Roehampton@wandsworth.gov.uk