Battle Goes On To Keep Hogarth Youth Centre Open

Fears that closure may lead to increased anti-social behaviour


Battle To Save Hogarth Youth Centre Appears Doomed

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The threat of closure is still looming over Hogarth Youth Centre due to cutbacks in Hounslow Council's youth budget but the fight to keep the centre open is still continuing.

The issue came up for discussion at last week's Question and Answer session at the Chiswick Town Hall when Darren Eliman representing the Friends of the Hogarth Trust (which runs the centre) asked how the council would deal with the possible rise of anti social behaviour in the borough if centres such as the Hogarth were closed.

Councillor Tom Bruce (cabinet member responsible for education) said they were not closing the centre, but this was rejected by Mr. Eliman, who said that since the Council was cutting funding for staff, it would be forced to close. Councillor Bruce said there were other sources for funding which could be availed of.

Hounslow Council plans to make £650,000 worth of savings to youth services. The cutbacks will lead to the destaffing and closure of the Hogarth Centre in Duke Road as well as youth centres in Hounslow and Hanworth.

The Friends of the Hogarth Centre will hold a fundraising event on March 15th.

Councillor John Todd, who has been campaigning to keep the Hogarth Youth Centre open commented: "This excellent club continues to be in danger of being forced to close because of draconian youth service budget cuts initiated by Cllr Bruce and endorsed by his cabinet members but not however by the significant number of labour Cllr members who readily endorsed my call-In hearing hearing which asked the cabinet to reconsider its decision.

"A budget of £965k was reduced by £750k although the related cabinet report said £650k. Youth clubs were invited to bid for commissioned work but to date not a penny has been distributed.Cllr Bruce as ever takes the line that there is external funding available and other Hounslow youth clubs have obtained funding. That's correct but any funding obtained is project related -not for running costs."

Friends of Hogarth Centre are calling on local people and businesses to get in contact to see how they might assist in continuing the community hub, the support it provides and prevent the stark warnings of increased anti-social behaviour and crime outlined by Sergeant Dave Turtle during the public consultation meetings.

If you would like to help please contact Daren Elliman:

hogarth youth centre

The centre in Duke Road is managed by the charitable Hogarth Trust and partly funded by Hounslow Council. There has already been an angry response in Chiswick with a petition and a march of over 100 people to Hounslow Council's headquarters at the Civic Centre. Over 200 people attended the consultation meeting in Chiswick. Councillor John Todd has been spearheading the campaign to keep the youth service budget in Hounslow intact.

Those who have spoken out against the cutbacks include former Chiswick sergeant Dave Turtle who fears closure could lead to anti-social behaviour, and local school head teachers who spoke of the benefits to their pupils.

March 9, 2018

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