East Oxford Community centre is there for the whole community and we need to meet our commitment to redevelop and significantly improve it, which was strongly supported through public consultation.
We have been working with the tenants since 2016 on the project. Eight months ago we informally notified them that their tenancy agreements would terminate at the end of February 2022, this was further extended to the end of April 2022, to give them time to find alternative sites. We also went beyond our responsibilities and hired an agent to work with tenants to find an alternative site in east Oxford. The moving out date has been made clear in discussions for some time, letters were sent to confirm this after an alternative site had been found. We arranged regular engagement with the groups including a regular weekly drop in session to raise any concerns, but no group ever attended these drop in sessions. We are very disappointed that groups have not properly engaged with us directly, and instead objections have been posted on social media and directly to councillors as the election approaches.
Nonetheless, we have given groups an extension of their time in the centre, and our offer of assistance stands. We need to deliver a much improved centre that meets the aspirations of the whole east Oxford community.