Row breaks out over proposed Bangladeshi community centre

Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci. Conservative group leader Nadia Cenci.

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
10:00 AM

A proposal to convert the former Argyle Street Annex of Suffolk College into a new centre run by Ipswich’s Bangladeshi community has come under fire from the opposition at the borough council.

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The council is to buy the building and then transfer it to the Bangladeshi Support Centre on a 15-year lease.

That is then seeking a £100,000 grant from the National Lottery to repair and upgrade the building.

The move was approved by last week’s meeting of the borough council executive, but the opposition Conservative group has called for the decision to be reconsidered by the borough’s overview and scrutiny committee.

They are concerned that the normal length of time for a council lease is five years – and they are concerned that if the lottery bid is unsuccessful the council could be left with a building that cannot be used.

Opposition leader Nadia Cenci said: “Conservatives are concerned at the way this proposal has been handled by the council.

“We want to make sure that Labour have given proper regard to the risks of borrowing this money and that they have not loaded the Bangladeshi Support Centre with an ongoing financial commitment that they cannot afford. “We also want to ensure that the Council can’t be accused by other community groups of showing preferential treatment to a key voting group in the run up to the General Election.”

However council leader David Ellesmere dismissed the fears – and said the building would be used by several groups, not just the Bangladeshi Support Centre.

He said: “These groups are currently housed in 19 Tower Street and need more space. We needed to offer a 15-year lease to enable the Bangladeshi Support Group to have the security to raise the money it needed to take over the building.

“They will be the tenants, but will sub-let part of it to other groups.”

He said the rent would cover the cost of the loan the council would need – and the lottery grant was not crucial.

“The lottery money would help improve the building, but it is not in too bad a condition and is certainly ready for use. There is no real issue about this – it will be a welcome new facility for many communities,” he said.

25 comments

  • I don't think it matters who the group is. The fact is that the Council are spending public money on buying a building that MUST need refurishment ( the National Lottery don't just give away money for a coat of paint) for a group who have enough money to rent a building. IBC already purchased the old Police Station to house community groups- this very site publicised it. CSV just moved out of a perfectly good building on the Corner of Portman Rd, which, presumably was cheap to rent. I've said it before and will say it again- it is not the job of the Council to prop up community groups at a time when swingeing cuts to essential public services will see the poor suffer and people lose their jobs. It doesnt matter what their ethnicity is, whether its the local bowls club or a minority group. Unless it's specifically helping the most vunerable in society who are suffering in these hard times, or is helping EVERYBODY then they should not be involved.

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    Sentinel Red

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Ha ha Nigel Noakes. Well, my generation or the one before didn't invade India - or do you want to go back as far as 1066 when WE were invaded? As for a few other comments, minority groups wanting their own places and refusing to integrate is about as bigoted as you can get.

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    Robotix

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Well, if you're going to invade a country, impose your culture and exploit it's labour and resources as we did in India for over 100 years, then one day perhaps you might owe something in return?

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    Nigel Noakes

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • As usual, the right-oners attribute any dissent from their views as a form of bigotry and is only caused by the reporting of these things. Increasingly, they want any news of this sort of thing to be suppressed in case it upsets the natives. So, don't forget to use your vote and express your opinions folks, at every opportunity .

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    Gobby

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • To all the people complaining about multiculturalism taking over please get a grip. It's Ipswich we're talking about here! The place was lost many years ago and is now a free for all. If you don't like it then just move away to somewhere nice like everyone else. You don't owe the town anything - it's not like you need to be the captain sinking with the ship. I support the community centre, it sounds like a great idea and I concur that the title is click bait for bigots. The reality is much more logical than the illusion created by the publisher.

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    IpswichResident

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Just think what a £100,00 would have done to Ransomes sports social club, continuation of along stand social club, involving dart team, dancing groups, poker nights self defence groups for children and adults, Pensioner meetings, wedding\birthday parties , all these thing plus more happened at Ransomes social club for everyone in the community until the council closed it down.

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    this is what we pay tax for

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • so much for integration!! Groups should not be allowed to set up for separate minorities.

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    tonyb

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • There may well be points worthy of discussion here but as has already been pointed out the story is presented in the usual "click bait" inflamatory manner intended to appeal to bigots and typical of this publication.

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    IanW

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Don't we have enough of these religious centres in our town. Ipswich is turning into a foreign town. Wherever you go no one speaks English anymore. Shops are popping up everywhere selling foreign goods and we have enough foreign prayer centres. WHEN IN ROME is the saying. We don't expect it abroad so why do we cater for it. If you don't like it LEAVE simple.

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    marlyn

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • IMP.. everyone is entitled to their opinion. This country has a serious problem; its loosing its identity, and minorities are choosing to "not" embrace our culture and language, this merely causes further friction. I am glad the star allows opinions through the net and doesnt restrict the publics voice.

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    Rory Breaker

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I have to agree with Sentinel Red... I would like to see any money available go to bringing back life to Broomhill Pool. The council made a bad decision, denying a generation of local children innocent fun.

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    waspie

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I agree with footyfan. Tis is appalling journalism designed to attract attention and sell papers by playing on the insecurity of small minded bigots some of who have already put their nasty little views on here. The vast majority of muslims are peaceful decent people who respect the law and certainly do not deserve to be tarred with the tag of extremists and terrorists. Mr Geater and the bigots on this site should hang their heads in shame and consider more carefully how their comments can actually inflame the situation.

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    IMP

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I can what is going to happen hear, in a short time the centre will become a place of extremists doctrine leading to trained terrorists.

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    jack rabbit

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Yet more disgraceful journalism at the most highest order - I am totally digusted...

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    Chris Ward

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • While councils have a role in supporting community activities they should not be involved with specific ethnic organisations. Didn't they support a west Indian group until it ended as an antisocial enterprise which had be closed down.

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    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • The story should headline " Community groups to move to new premises." This story is inflammatory and irresponsible in my opinion. It should include all the community groups currently working from 19 Tower Street not headlining about the Bangladeshi Centre. Shame on you Paul Geater for point scoring. If it was headlining Citizens Advice Bureau to move to new premises. no one would give 2 hoots, instead give a racial headline and you immediately provoke racial discord. Disgraceful journalism!!

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    Footyfan

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • how come the council can change the rules on the five year and lease this for 15 years seems like one rule for everyone and another for these people in that case everyone who has a lease with the council apply for 15 years and see how far you get

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    clive

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • hey these are good people, all of their activities are open to anyone and they actively promote integration and cross community interaction. 19 tower st also houses the Citizens advice bureau and the disabled advice bureau, so more good people!

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    john c

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Seems strange that the council turned their backs on the Carribean Centre (also housing the Chinese and providing other community facilities). Surely if something like this is required then i should be named a COMMUNITY centre where ALL members of the community use it and not the selected few. With the number of mosques that are springing up I am slightly surprised that the Bangladesh Community finds itself in need of even more space - and that is not being racist, but realistic.

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    Mike Hunt

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • I agree with the views shared. If this group wants the building they can buy it. The council should not use the public purse to support ethnic groups. I hope next year people show their contempt for this local Labour council when they vote.

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    Rory Breaker

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Well done Nadia,we need more of your good work to show these blundering labour counsellors how things should be dealt with efficiently....

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    scobie

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • A Disgrace welcome to blairs britain.

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    a west

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • This is a thin end of the wedge the other tenants mention in the article and i quote “They will be the tenants, but will sub-let part of it to other groups.”i bet my house on this that it will be to Islamic groups.

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    peter wright

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • No wonder there's little or no integration when segregation is obviously encouraged....

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    Robotix

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • The council should not be getting involved in.any community centres aimed primarily at a particular ethnic group whatever that group may be. The council are there to represent all the people of Ipswich. It is right there is concern. Centres should not be allowed to be named for a particular group as it alienates others.

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    Sentinel Red

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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