We have decided to POSTPONE our next Management Committee meeting, originally scheduled for Monday 21 October. It now seems likely that Live Borders will meet with community centre representatives in late October to discuss changes around the future management of centres.
It therefore seems sensible for us to wait until after that Live Borders meeting before we schedule our next Management Committee meeting. Once that Live Borders date has been fixed, we will make alternative arrangements.
FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF COMMUNITY CENTRES
Ewan Jackson (Chief Executive, Live Borders) recently re-emphasised the importance of community centres as being at the heart of the organisation's health and well-being ethos. Live Borders is therefore committed to the ongoing success of centres like Southfield.
However, with financial and other pressures at work, some fundamental changes will need to be considered in how community centres are managed. Among the main likely changes are these :
The constitution for community centres will change and the management committee will need to become more representative of the wider community instead of consisting only of user group representatives.
The pricing policy which determines room hire charges will need to change. This is likely to include increases in these charges. Free lets will disappear and the future policy will be that 'everyone pays something'.
The traditional practice in which community centres retain their income while their expenses are charged to Live Borders is likely to change so as to wrap the two together. Further discussion will need to determine what level of financial autonomy, if any, centres will have in future.
It is judged to be inherently illogical that some community centres (such as Southfield) have full-time caretakers while others which are equally busy or even busier do not. Efforts will need to be made to better equalise these services across premises.