PUBLISHED: 10:54 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:16 02 July 2014
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Fanshawe Community Centre, Barnmead Road, Dagenham, has been listed as an Asset of Community Value under new localism legislation – meaning the association running it will be given time to enter a bid should the council-owned centre be sold.
It comes off the back of months of campaigning which saw up to 6,000 residents petition against a cabinet decision in January to consider the “viability of marketing the site” for housing.
Chairman of the Fanshawe Community Association, Peter Bailey, said: “To me [this decision] is securing the groups future and that’s what it’s all about. It’s something to pass on as a legacy to the next lot.
Saving the centre has become something of a political point-scoring exercise with both Labour and the Conservatives claiming a victory.
Conservative Mina Rahman, who will challenge for the Barking parliamentary seat next year, is credited with putting in the asset listing bid – part of the Localism Act 2011 – on behalf of the Fanshawe Community Supporters Group.
But in a statement to the Post yesterday, council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell said the centre was never at risk as petitioners had been “assured of the future of the centre” when his administration came to power in May.