Axe hovers over Community House

General View of Community House in Sothwell Rd Wisbech ANL-140929-085600009
General View of Community House in Sothwell Rd Wisbech ANL-140929-085600009
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Councillors could be axing Community House in Wisbech and the youth district council programme as they try to cut costs.

Fenland District Council needs to save an additional £2.2 million over the next three years but has identified £968,000 of cuts for the current financial year.

Following on from a meeting on January 14, councillors have asked officers to build up a business case for a number of areas.

But these proposals are estimated to provide £1.6 million in savings over the next few years, leaving a £600,000 shortfall.

Community House could be closed unless external funding is found along with stopping the youth district council programme and ending the monthly Fenlander page in the Fenland Citizen.

The one-stop shops in March and Wisbech are also earmarked to become new community hubs, with hours in the contact centre also being reduced.

Among other likely moves are phased reductions in the level of grants to bodies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service, Young People March and local museums.

Other key areas include providing different ways of providing leisure facilities and managing the services provided by Wisbech Port. Ideas for generating extra income include charging for collecting waste from residents’ brown bins.

But councillors decided that it was unlikely that any car parking charges would be considered during this administration.

Council leader John Clark said: “We have made good progress and members have given a clear steer on what they see as the best ways of achieving the necessary savings.

“The measures we have already taken mean that we are in a relatively good position for the next 12 months. That gives us time to develop other plans to ensure that we meet the overall £2.2 million target.”