With ever-decreasing funding for social care, and the Council announcing £50 million of cuts that need to be made, the Council should be preparing to focus its spending on the services that most support our local communities. The local Liberal Democrats were shocked, therefore, to discover last weekend that the Council is intending to spend £1.3 million to convert the beloved Raines House into a "community hub".
Raines House is an historic part of Wapping's local heritage, and provides a number of services including dance classes, tea dance, bingo and social evenings. It is clear that the venue could benefit from some redecoration, but local residents are concerned that the proposed redesign will take away from the unique East End character, and threaten some of the activities that elderly residents rely upon.
In particular, the proposed £1.3 million cost of the renovation is shocking at a time when local residents are facing cuts in so many vital services. We understand that use of these funds are restricted to certain initiatives, as it is "section 106 funding" (reciprocal investment funded from development projects). However, there is surely a better use of this money.
We call on the Council to tell us what other uses for this money were considered, and why this was decided on as the most valuable investment, without consulting local residents first. Contact [email protected] to let us know what you think.