DECEMBER 2020 : UPDATE
Live Borders has confirmed that no community centre will re-open in January but that, from then onwards, management committees may start to make plans for a resumption of activities by or before April.
Any such resumption will depend on sufficient demand from user groups, risk assessments being undertaken and plans around safe operation being approved. It has also been made clear that management committees carry the ultimate responsibility for such assessments and plans.
Our own sounding of user groups taken a few weeks ago suggested that around six groups (some of them quite big users) would be very keen to get back to Southfield as soon as possible. Others varied in intention from Easter to autumn and a few groups might not re-start at all. Live Borders is currently undertaking its own survey of user group attitudes.
The Centre has also been mentioned as a possible venue for vaccinations; if it were to be used as such, it is likely that the building would be unavailable to user groups for many months.
So, we need to wait to see whether Southfield becomes a vaccination centre. If it does not, we then need clarification from Live Borders as to how many user groups need to be interested in order to make re-opening viable. Only after passing these two stages can we begin to address how we might meet the risk assessment and safe operation challenges.
And, of course, the local and national situation with regard to tiers and restrictions will inevitably have a deciding effect.