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Parents to protest over Rose Bowl Centre plans

PUBLISHED: 16:36 24 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:09 14 October 2010

ANGRY children and parents are due to stage a protest this week over Islington Council s plans to pass the running of their beloved youth club to an outside party.

ANGRY children and parents are due to stage a protest this week over Islington Council's plans to pass the running of their beloved youth club to an outside party.

The Rose Bowl Youth Centre in St Paul's Open Space, on the Marquess Estate, Canonbury, was shut down by Islington Council in mysterious circumstances in February.

Police and parents have hailed the service as vital in curbing youth crime on one of Islington's most deprived housing estates.

On Thursday the council is holding an open evening at The Rose Bowl to invite "suitably qualified organisations" to take over the running of the troubled centre.

But with the school holidays almost at an end and no sign of the youth club reopening, frustrated families are set to make their feelings known.

One single parent, who lives on the Marquess Estate and works for Homes for Islington, the borough's housing management firm, said: "My four kids used to go to the club and they loved it. The staff were wonderful. There is nothing for them to do now and it's not safe for them to play out on the flats.

"The Rose Bowl has always been run by local people for local kids and that's how it should stay. It was great the way it was as it gave a lot of support to the kids from poor families like mine who needed somewhere to go."

The centre's £100,000-a-year running costs are paid for by Islington Council with help from community charity Friends of the Rose Bowl.

The successful bidder with be awarded a two-year contract for the running of the Rose Bowl with the chance to apply for up £25,000 of extra funding from Islington charity The Cripplegate Foundation.

Canonbury community campaigner Oriel Hutchinson said: "Some families on the estate say they will boycott the newly-run venue until they have answers to the question of why it closed.

Councillor Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: "The Rose Bowl does vital work for Islington's young people and we're totally committed to its future. To apply for important extra funding to benefit local young people, we need an independent organisation to run its youth work.

"We're working closely with Friends of the Rose Bowl to carefully select a suitable organisation, and reopen the Rose Bowl. We're also investing money in improving the centre. We're also providing local youth sessions and support through the Y-Truck, Canonbury Youth Hub, and other local centres."


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