CENTRE: Investments elsewhere

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Further to my recent letter about The Dovecote Centre in Amble and Coun Scott Dickinson’s reply (Northumberland Gazette, August 4), I was already aware that the Dovecote Centre is owned by the church, but Northumberland County Council held the lease and is terminating this arrangement.

The Dovecote is in the heart of Amble and serves the educational and recreational needs of many people.

My friends and I have attended several courses in the past and do not see why the substantial population of Amble can’t have a community centre when the county council is supporting smaller village community centres.

No one begrudges Hadston Community Centre’s £500,000 worth of improvements.

However, incredulously, the county executive did not even consult local county councillors and Amble Town Council of its decision to deprive Amble residents of the Dovecote.

Coun Dickinson’s statement that Amble has had “millions” is misleading as its regeneration was largely due to a grant of £1.8million from the Coastal Communities Fund and a regeneration grant of £225,000.

The county council did work with the development trust on the harbour project, but I am told it did not contribute “millions”.

It’s easy to accuse the Government of cuts, but if Northumberland County Council is so short of money that it can’t afford to fund a small facility where residents can learn new skills, how is it that it can use taxpayers’ money and have reputedly borrowed more money to purchase the Manor Walks shopping centre in Cramlington for £82million and fund the now projected £80million move of County Hall from Morpeth to Ashington?

June Watson,

Address supplied