Councillors asked to approve £1.5m upgrade for community centre

Patchway Community Centre, Rodway Road, Patchway, Bristol.

Councillors representing Patchway are urging their colleagues to approve a proposal that would see £1.5m come from housing developers to upgrade the town’s community centre.

Under the terms of a planning approval dating back several years, the developers of 81.25 hectares of land at Charlton Hayes, Patchway (Bovis Homes) are required to support local community infrastructure.

Patchway Town Council has put forward modernising and upgrading Patchway Community Centre on Rodway Road as its preferred use for the cash. This would create significant new space for community use and provide facilities for both the existing community and residents of the new development to enjoy.

Formal approval of this plan is set to be made by South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Communities Committee this evening (Wednesday 24th July). The local Labour councillors have made a formal submission to the committee, asking its members to approve the deal.

In the submission, Cllr Sam Scott (Labour, Patchway) says:

“Patchway Community Centre has been right at the heart of the Patchway community for generations. It is a much-loved community-run centre that is enjoyed by its user groups and the wider community. It has always played its part in bringing people together at local events.”

“This proposal gives the Centre the opportunity to remain right at the heart of the extended Patchway community – supporting the development of new and existing communities in tandem. The rebuild will help promote Patchway’s existing services to new residents and community groups and will help strengthen community cohesion. It will help Patchway realise the goal of a Patchway Town Centre accessible to, and used by all, and I endorse the committee to support the proposal and support Patchway.”

Patchway Councillors with local users of Patchway Community Centre.

Photo: Patchway Councillors Sam Scott (second from left) and Keith Walker (right) with local users of Patchway Community Centre.

More info: Agenda for meeting of SGC’s Communities Committee on Wednesday 24th July

Source: Press release from South Gloucestershire Labour Group


  1. The Journal has learned that a decision on this matter has been deferred until 10th September.

    From a South Gloucestershire Labour Group press release:


    Local politicians on South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee were poised to approve the plan last night (24 July), but at the meeting council officials announced that the legal wording necessary for the decision to be taken had not been incorporated. The decision had to been deferred until the Communities Committee next meets on 10 September.

    In a statement issued after the meeting, Patchway’s Labour councillors Eve Orpen, Sam Scott and Keith Walker say:

    “Patchway residents will be disappointed and alarmed at this turn of events. We trust this is just an administrative error and nothing more sinister, as it would be a scandal if our community misses out on this investment. We urge councillor colleagues on the Communities Committee to keep the pressure on council officials to ensure that all is in place for them to take a decision next time.”

    Councillor Sam Scott added:

    “I do not understand how this report could get to committee in an incomplete state. I shall be writing to the council’s chief legal officer for an explanation, as this delay will cause real anxiety in our community.”


  2. And here is the view of the Conservative Group:


    A flagship refurbishment of Patchway Community Centre has been delayed after councillors considered the wrong report – the latest embarrassment to hit South Gloucestershire Council.

    At a meeting last night (Wednesday 24th July), councillors on the authority’s Communities Committee had been to due to sign-off a decision to hand over £1.5m of funding to Patchway Town Council in order to improve Patchway Community Centre.

    But they arrived at the meeting to be told that they had the wrong report in front of them and therefore could not make a decision.

    A decision has now been delayed until September and will therefore delay the refurbishment scheme.

    Conservative councillors are blaming this latest gaffe on the council’s controversial change to making decisions by committee, which Labour and LibDem councillors imposed without carrying out any public consultation.

    Cllr James Hunt, Conservative Lead Member on the Communities Committee, said:

    “Sooner or later, Labour and LibDem councillors are going to have to take responsibility for the bureaucratic chaos that they have imposed onto the council in the form of their outdated and discredited decisions-by-committee system.

    This sort of incompetence is what happens when councillors treat the public as a nuisance and sneak major changes to decision-making past the backs of local residents without giving them any say.

    It is unfair to blame the officers for this shambles, which has cost the taxpayer unnecessary expense; it is the failed system that leaves no one with responsibility or accountability and leaves the door open for a once four star council to fall further into disrepute.

    As a result of this unacceptable delay, Patchway residents now have to wait longer to find out if their community centre is to get the investment that it so badly needs and to see these vital improvements actually materialise.”


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