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TD Community Centre LR

Petition - 'Save our Thames Ditton Community Centre'
The TD & WG Residents' Association View 

The RA recognises local concern over the current state of the Community Centre, and would like to see improvements. We are open minded about how these could be achieved, and think it is beneficial to explore different options for this rather than insisting on maintaining the current Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC) management model.

Some residents will feel there is value in a petition, however some of the statements that have been made in support of it are misleading and need to be corrected:

  • Remember this site with car park is on the Local Plan for 18 houses.  The government requires councils to list in their Local Plans all sites where it would be possible to build houses in the next 15 years, but does not require the houses to be actually built. All Elmbridge-owned car parks are designated for housing in the Local Plan. If councils fail to show sufficient house numbers, they could be required to allocate Green Belt land for housing. It should be noted that the EBC Local Plan also states 'reprovision of community use' where a site contains a community centre. The Local Plan supports the provision of community centres and does not threaten their loss.

  • EBC is proposing to give up its control, running and management, handing it over to a third party. This will lead to a very uncertain future / potential closure.  EBC has given us assurances that it does not intend to close the Centre, and discussions with community groups about running it are at an early stage. Without knowing any further details of these, this petitioners' claim is unjustified.

  • EBC is deliberately turning away new user groups and hirers.  EBC is happy to have new short-term users of the Centre, however while discussions are underway with community groups, it would not be appropriate to take on long-term users until management details have been agreed.

  • The Centre claims to be a designated warm hub.  EBC is no longer running any of its community centres as 'Warm Hubs'. Surrey County Council are now offering 'Warm Welcome' centres and Thames Ditton Library is our local centre for that.

  • The RA has refused to hold a public meeting.  The RA holds six public meetings throughout the year, and all residents are invited to attend to discuss any issues of community concern. Indeed, a considerable part of our AGM earlier in the year was devoted to discussing the Community Centre. Our next public meeting is Tuesday 28 November, 8pm - see our home page for details. Our local ward Councillors have responded to everyone who has been in touch with concerns about the centre and have offered to meet to discuss residents’ concerns.

  • If this Centre for the Community goes, others in Elmbridge will surely follow.  There is no basis to this claim. No community centre is at risk of closure. The aim is to improve the viability of our centre to make its future more secure.

This is a controversial issue and some residents may feel that the RA is not supporting them, however we do always act in the overall interests of our residents, as we've done for nearly 90 years. If you would like to contact our borough councillors about this or any other local issue, you can reach them at:

Cllr Gill Coates - Cllr Caroline James -
Cllr Alex Batchelor - Cllr Elaine Sesemann -