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Council cuts plan leaves community facilities facing a bleak future

Lichfield’s Jigsaw hub is likely to face a bleak future if planned council cuts get the go-ahead.

The community development service at Lichfield District Council is under threat as the local authority attempts to plug a £1.7million funding gap.

The council has launched its Fit for the Future review, with the first phase of cutbacks set to be discussed by the overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday (June 20).

And now an internal review has suggested ending the community development service would save £65,000 a year.

But the council’s report admits that would mean the “likely closure” of the Jigsaw centre, as well as the Mill Lane Link facility in Fazeley – described on Lichfield District Council’s own website as “a community venue for everyone to enjoy”.

The options for alternative ownership of such projects do not look promising either.

“Current funding partners could offer to assume line management of the community development team and/or increase their funding contribution,” the report explained. “However, preliminary discussions suggest it is unlikely this option could be supported by partners, especially  in the current financial climate.”

The review also reveals that 5,317 people used the service last year through both community development projects and work clubs.

The community development service has helped to deliver more than 20 projects and was responsible for supporting 280 volunteers during the Olympic Torch’s visit to Lichfield.

It has also recruited 27 “regular volunteers” to help run the Jigsaw hub and regular work clubs.

In another section of the Fit for the Future review, the council has committed to keeping work clubs running.

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1 Comment

  1. Some Bloke

    19th June, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Jigsaw runs out of a shop in Dimbles Lane.If this closes, it will be boarded up like it was for 6 years before Jigsaw opened. It looked like an eyesore. It encouraged crime. Since it opened, crime has dropped, (look it up), and local people feel safer, the environment has improved. If this closes, it will look bad. This is not a good thing!