Cash pledge boosts Wivenhoe health centre chances

Essex County Standard: Cash pledge boosts Wivenhoe health centre chances Cash pledge boosts Wivenhoe health centre chances

A NEW health centre for Wivenhoe could be back on track after County Hall agreed to put almost £91,000 behind the scheme.

Essex County Council has agreed to spend the cash on a nine-month detailed feasibility study looking at converting the council-owned Phillip Road Centre into a GP surgery instead of selling it. It could also be sub-let for community groups’ use.

The authority has pledged half the design costs and £17,000 on planning.

However, the council will only go-ahead with the plans if they are commercially viable andwill now work with the surgery and contractors Realise Health. Julie Young, county councillor for Wivenhoe, said: “The proposal is well-supported by the community and just what we want.”

Town mayor Andrea Vaughan added: “If they can make it work and we get a community space and doctors’ surgery, while the council gets an income, it has to be a win-win for everybody.”

The news was also welcomed by Michael Padmore, chairman of Phillip Road Users’ Group, but he urged more immediate action to help clubs such as the Hub youth group, still homeless after the centre was closed in July. He said: “We are pleased to hear the council was looking again at the building and we think this is one of the most realistic ways of making some community use from it.

“We are keen to pursue discussions with the surgery about how best to accommodate community uses. I’m keen to know more about facilities which other groups might want.

“It is frustrating we have not been able to arrange something there in the interim so groups can use it.”

! To contact Mr Padmore about possible community group use of the re-developed site, e-mail admin@philliproad centre.org

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