Controversial plan to sell Eye community building not a 'done deal'

A controversial plan to sell a building, which is home to a 60-year-old youth club, was not a "done deal", council officers said.

More than 700 people have singed a petition to keep the site in Cross Street, Peterborough, which also contains Eye library.

Peterborough City Council's (PCC) said it needed to dispose of 79 buildings to balance its budget deficit.

However, Eye villagers said it will be "a huge loss" if the centre is closed.

Sign outside the centre
More than 700 people have singed a petition calling to save a 60-year-old youth club and Eye library

Almost 70 children between the age of nine and 12 used the Eye junior youth club and campaigners have fought to keep it open for the "very upset" young people who used it.

Eye resident, David Gardener, said the youth club "shaped his life" after he was "expelled from school."

Conservative MP Paul Bristow said he is backing the campaign "100%" and added: "Eye is a growing village and if we strip it of assets like this then what is left? The youth club and library can not end. It's the beating heart of the village."

Dale McKean, who started the petition, said the loss of this building will have a "significant" impact on the village.

Dale Mckean
Dale Mckean who started the campaign to save the youth club said village community is 'very angry' about the plans

Speaking at a PCC meeting on Friday, Conservative Councillor Steve Allen, said he had signed the petition.

He added: "The council has to review its assets from time to time. Out of all the council assets, this should be left alone - In fact it needs more investment."

Labour councillor Andrew Pakes, who is also standing as a parliamentary candidate for Peterborough, said: "The Conservative administration put this building on the chopping block in July and kept it secret from the public.

"It's important when communities speak out like this when their assets are under threat."

'News next year'

Council officers told the room, the plans to sell off the building were not a "done deal".

Peterborough First deputy leader, councillor John Howard, gave the room an update on when more information would be announced.

"It's still at a stage of review and no decisions have been made," he said.

"We can see a lot of passion in this building. We will have further news next year."

The petition has now been submitted to the council and could be discussed at the next full council meeting.