Role model community hub Selby Centre is at risk

Apr 11 2011 - 7:44pm

Published in:
By Lucy Purdy | Friday, 04 March 2011
North London Press
The Tottenham & Wood Green Advertiser

A COMMUNITY hub in Tottenham hailed by a government minister as an “amazing model” of the Big Society may close due to cuts.

Cash-strapped Haringey Council chiefs have taken a decision “in principle” to terminate funding to the Selby Centre, in Selby Road, from the end of March.

It is home to more than 100 social
enterprises as well as community services including a creche, education facilities and training spaces and was described by
equalities minister, the Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone, as an ideal model of the Big Society in action.

Sona Mahtani, Selby Trust chief executive, said the centre was about 70 per cent self-sufficient, generating income through rent. But she warned that its future now hangs in the balance because the trust also depends on the council’s money
to make ends meet.

Ms Mahtani added: “We transformed a 1960s shell into a thriving hub that shows what a poor community can do for volunteering, self-help, jobs and social enterprise.

"Selby employs about 300 and passions run high for the centre which attracts 1,500 people daily.”

A council spokesman: “The financial position of the Selby Trust was reviewed by the Voluntary Sector Committee which decided in principle, following concerns about its viability, to terminate the trust’s funding from 31 March, subject to a further investigation of the trust’s financial position.

"That work by auditors is being undertaken. No final decision has been taken. The council has a duty to safeguard public funds and often has to make informed yet difficult decisions.”

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