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The Central Club Reading update:
Aspire Media Release
For Immediate Release: 15 May 2018
Embargo: 11 am 15 May 2018
Aspire Confirms Bid of Nearly £1M for the Spiritual of the Windrush Home Generation in Reading Borough Council new Sales Process for the Central Club.
At a community leaders meeting and media briefing today Aspire, Reading’s Black Community Interest Company (CIC) and the winning bidder of RBC last process to sell the abandoned Central Club site at 36 – 42 London Street, Reading to the Community revealed that they have increased their offer to buy the Central Club site for [£850,000] nearly £1M. The Chairman of Aspire, Mr Keith Kerr said: “We are in talks with the Baroness [Doreen] Lawrence of the Stephen Lawrence Trust to provide the architect to design a landmark building on the site for community use, a fitting tribute to the Windrush generation and the memory of Stephen Lawrence. Mr Keith Kerr, told the community leaders the battle to get back their spiritual home is far from being won with this knock out bid of nearly £1M. He said: The Board of Aspire met on the 9 May 2018 to decide if Aspire should submit a bid”. The Board Members had to ensure that three high hurdles were cleared before they gave the go ahead to bid.
The three hurdles were:
Confirmation of full funding for the project
from build out to transfer
The ‘Community Hub’ must be financially viable in perpetuity
The Bid is fully compliant RBC new rules on a level playing field
All the hurdles were cleared accept for major reservations that the Board had about the new sales process that RBC had issued on 11 March 2018. The new process was not a freehold sale but a 999 years lease with RBC remaining as the landlord. Two separate but irreconcilable Bid process [Haslam commercial and RBC Third Sector] are being used by RBC to judge commercial and Third Sector Bids.
The Board believes RBC’s process is opaque and blindingly unfair as it puts a more onerous burden of the third sector not placed on commercial bidders. For example Third Sector Bids must show how their bids meet RBC Strategic Priorities for 2017 – 2019. How will the RBC value the community services that Aspire will be providing to this much underserved segment of the community in aspires Bid. What is the status of the request by the community to have the Central Club listed as an Asset of Community Value?
Aspire have had discussions and meetings to work with RBC to ensure that there is a transparent, fair and consistent process that does not favour commercial developers over third sector groups. At the deadline date RBC requested more time to provide answers to the question Aspire raised about the process. The Board decided to submit a bid as you have to be in it to win it. However, Aspire has reserved its position and ask RBC to think again. They have the power in the bidding rules to alter the process and make them fair open and transparent.
Aspire took the decision to enter this unfair process at this stage because the diaspora have instructed us get back their spiritual home. The confirmation came during the course of the nine public meetings Aspire held between the announcement to unilaterally scrap the last process won by Aspire in August 2017 and the closing of the new process on 11 May 2018.
On Saturday 7th April 2018 BAFA hosted a debate on The situation Confronting Undocumented Caribbean Migrants
Many thanks to the Barbados High Commissioner HE Guy Hewitt who delivered a comprehensive overview of the current issues. The meeting was well attend by representative from across the Caribbean and beyond.
HE Guy Hewitt outlined what’s currently happening to people and their families who came to England on British passports over 70 years ago as part of the British Empire to help rebuild the mother land post World War 2.
'They have lived nearly all their lives in the UK, working and paying taxes. But in the draconian new immigration climate, an increasing number of elderly people are being told that they are here illegally'
Please sign this Petition: Amnesty for anyone who was a minor that arrived In Britain between 1948 to 1971
Due to a lack of interest we regretfully came to the decision to cancel the
BAFA coach to this year’s event.
The BAFA will still be in attendance and we'll see you there.
Advanced tickets can be purchased from BAFA.
Lil Bit of BIm -Barbados Heritage Day
to be held in Coventry on Sunday 27th May 2018 .
More details to follow
NCBA -Barbados UK Diaspora Awards Gala Ball
BAFA (Reading) were honoured to pick up the
Group Award 2017
With your help BAFA doesn't just put on social
events, we enjoy giving back to the community.
On the 24th October 2017 Margret Vaughan had the pleasure of presenting a cheque of £162 to Jane Stanford-Beale CEO of Autism Berkshire.
This amount was raised from your support of the raffle at the BAFA Oistins style fish fry, held on the 5th August 2017.
Autism Berkshire is a voluntary organisation offering a range of information, runs support groups and advice to parent, cares and families of people living with autism of all ages.
Autism Berkshire runs events for all the family with regular fun days at the Thames Valley Adventure Playground in Taplow.
For more information visit autismberkshire.org.uk
Membership officer BAFA (Reading)
From the proceeds of fundraising events BAFA (Reading )2016/7 were please to present
The Barbados Alzheimer's Association with a cheque for
BAFA committee member Jenny Harwood was on hand to present the cheque to
Pamela Brereton the President of the Barbados Alzheimer's Association.
Funds raised from the events were split equally between UK and Barbados Alzheimer’s.
Rodney Harewood preseneted the Heritage Project Reminiscence /Memory Box to Reading Museum
please refer to bafa heritage project tab at the top of the page for full details
BAFA (Reading) Barbados T-Shirts now available
Concessions for BAFA members.
Shirts can be purchased for £10
contact Rio -07740564233
Thank you to those of you who attended the Artefacts Roadshow events at Reading Museum in recent months.
On three occasions we displayed historical items that were used ‘back home’ before Barbadians moved to Reading in the 50s and 60s.
The High Commissioner Mr Guy Hewitt recently attended the Artefacts Roadshows to enjoy the display and here are some comments from visitors:
“This was a lovely display of artefacts but the conversations with the people made the visit, an event – thank you”
“Very informative – the artefacts and photographs with the text underneath paint a whole picture of the time and place”
“Awesome experience talking to the team –a walk down memory lane – thank you”
We have exciting news to announce about a Museum display and cultural extravaganza so watch this space.
You can always keep up to date via our website: http://www.bafa-reading.org.uk/
Bafa working in the community. well done jenny and the team
BAFA BARBADOS 2015 INDEPENDenCE DINNER AND DANCE
Bafa have DONATED
TO THE ALZHEIMER'S SOCIETY UK
COLLECTED FROM ITS RAFFLE AND LOCAL FUNDRAISING CONTRIBUTIONS
Barbados and Friends Association (Reading)
Corporate Communications, Ground Floor South ,
Tel: 07889 641600 - Chair person
We would like to keep you updated with local news and information, please click on Community News to catch up on what is happening in our community.
We've extended our range of activities.