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Community Centre Kitchen Building Causes Controversy

Hamish Campbell | 24.09.2004 13:59 | Culture | Free Spaces | Oxford

It seems far too many people were surprised that the kitchen will fill in the open free space on the public face of the building rather than in the back of the building. It will involve the felling of a mature cherry tree and the removing of public space which is scarce in East Oxford. The meeting was in uproar between the centre bureaucrats, professional architects and council employees pitted against the users groups and parts of the wider community.

The kitchen will be here in redbrick
The kitchen will be here in redbrick

Voices from the meeting (The laptop was passed around and every one at the meeting had the opportunity to have a say).

“1. The proposed kitchen means destroying a mature cherry tree
2. It will block out light from our downstairs hall
3. The main income from EOCC is from exercise classes: these will be jeopardised by construction of kitchen in this place
4. If kitchen were sited next to social club could use that space during the day for healthy living groups /drop in centre for families etc instead of creating dual use for existing hall
5. Toilets in EOCC are a disgrace: not very encouraging to healthy living groups”
Anna Sandham, Treasurer EOCC

“This was deemed the only viable space for the kitchen to go. Yes, it does take up space, but what do we need more- a viable way of teaching our children to eat healthily and a subsidised food source, or a mature cherry tree. If it could be put in the bar area, then I would support that. If it has to be at the front of the building or not at all, then I support it.” Sarah Gardner

“I would hate to see this building be ruined – it is part of the heritage of the Cowley
Road. Many residents have memories of this being a school and a significant landmark in the area. We are rapidly losing places like this. I don’t think residents in the wider community have been consulted on this. There seems to be good will to compromise on the kitchen being moved to a different area in the building thus keeping the original building which I hope happens. Then everybody can benefit from this.” Annie Skinner

“I think any investment into the centre is welcome. It is seriously in need of all kinds of work and I hope this will be the start of more long term improvement. The grounds & exterior are a disgrace as is the toilets and bar. My only fear is that the improved kitchen will show up the terrible state of the rest of the building even more. I’m sure after the temporary disruption, the new kitchen would be well used and a welcome resource for the community. It has been such a long time coming, it would be a shame to have to go back to the drawing board, get new architects, new plans, planning permission etc etc and waste more public money when any new plans are just as likely to meet with more objections it seems.” Tara Stewart – fusion Oxford’s Community Arts Agency

“The project sponsors have continually ignored complaints about issues of siting of the project and the need for the project. I feel the attitude to the centre was that it was unused and any project would be a good thing. In fact the centre is quite well used there are many groups of dance, martial arts, morris dancers, and the centre should have been redeveloped with this in mind. Turning the hall into a restaurant will effect the use of the hall. Dual use is not the most effective use of the space it would be better to site it on the bar because that space is already full of seating and it would add to the use of this space. It is bound to impact on the hall use even though the project sponsors say it wont they are not going to build a kitchen there and not use it are they?” Cathy Spiers trustee

Hamish Campbell
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No context

24.09.2004 15:00

I don't know what place this article is referring to. Somewhere in Oxford, I guess.



24.09.2004 18:52

This is about the East Oxford Community Centre (EOCC), Cowley Road, Oxford.



PLease define your terms

29.09.2004 13:26

It was interesting to read this article and see that the EOCC kitchen debate is still raging.

Can you please define some of your terms though? Who are the 'centre bureacrats' that you refer to - EOCC only employs cleaners and an administrator who can hardly be described as bureacrats. How representative were the user groups?

Being clear about who you mean can only help us have a genuine debate about these issues.


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ooww! I just love the way you invoke 'the kids' (sick)...

30.12.2004 23:25

...and thus anyone who opposes you must surely be some kinda child abuser.

Fuck you and your kids asshole...a tree is more important to me than a thousand of your brats.

Blessed be.

King Amdo