‘Out of hours’ bookings for Queen Mary Centre to be handled by Wisbech’s county councillors

EVENING and weekend bookings for a Wisbech centre set to close next year will be managed by town’s three county councillors, it was announced today.

The move by Councillors Steve Tierney, Simon King and Samantha Hoy comes after we revealed that bookings for ‘out of hours’ events were being refused by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Cllr Tierney said: “Since we all live in Wisbech we felt that we could perform the opening and closing at the centre.

“Since I live the closest, I will be handling the majority of the bookings, but Cllrs Hoy and King will be supporting me to cover days where I have something else booked.

“This means that the centre can continue to take ‘out of hours’ bookings.”

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He added: “For those with a cynical outlook I’d like to assure you that we are volunteering to do this for free, in our own spare time.

“It will mean a few extra hours a week for us looking after potential bookings, but if that means the centre can continue to be a useful venue for local people, groups and activities then we are all quite happy to do it.”

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Youth workers had been fulfilling the task of opening and closing the centre out of hours but have changed the way they deliver services. As a result they no longer use the Queen Mary Centre - and nobody was available to handle the opening and closing at weekends.

Cllr Tierney said: “I very much hope members of the public will see this as a useful way for county councillors to get directly involved with a problem and to provide a common sense solution to it.

“I picked up the keys last Friday and had the “training” required for alarms, doors and caretaking procedures.

“So please - if you’d like to book the Queen Mary Centre you should go ahead and do so. It’s open for business, even at weekends!”

The Queen Mary Centre is set to close next year when the council council moves into a new local HQ at the College of West Anglia’s Isle Campus.

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