Heatham House Improvements

Heatham House Youth Centre

Heatham House Youth Centre

Remember the great Heatham House debate of early 2012 when El Brute (aka LBRuT) asked ‘da kids’ to vote on the future of the centre? At the time the Council were hoping that the youth would opt to ditch HH in favour of a new purpose built, ‘state of the art’ centre which would (probably) have been on somewhere on the Twickenham sorting office site. Despite the Council consultation being worded in a way to strongly suggest that staying in that old building would not be the best option, the voting went in favour of staying put. Cue much discussion about the narrowness of victories, lobbying, etc but, as we know, the Council loves a good ol’ consultation and so it stuck with the majority view. There was even a ‘sour grapes’ press release to confirm that the youth centre would stay where it is.

Two years on and things look a little brighter. El Brute has just announced that it will spend £500,000 on Heatham House to improve facilities there, including tackling the Disability Discrimination Act compliance issues associated with the building. The Council’s website says that the work will include: redesigning the stage to create more floor space; proving a purpose built fitness suite; a new extension which will house an office, reception and social area; new showers and disabled toilet facilities; other equipment and soundproofing upgrades.

Heatham House remains a popular facility with young people in the area and now, with all this money being spent upgrading the building, it looks as if the boutique hotel suggested for the site will just have to wait a little longer.

LINKS:
* El Brute
* Heatham House

7 Comments

Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

7 responses to “Heatham House Improvements

  1. anonymouse

    Let’s not forget that El Brute consulted ‘da kids’ FOUR times before they gave up and blamed elements of ‘da kids’ that they consulted for voting for the wrong option (sour grapes).

    Since then they’ve only published the Consultation results that support their preferred plans and buried unfavourable results.

    The Water Lane No Right Turn consultation is an example of the latter. No results have been published on this unpopular plan, and now El Brute are backtracking on their silly plan and trying to blame TFL.

    Da kids were right not to trust da Cons on Heatham House.If only d’adults were equally perceptive we might not have Solum towers looming and a half empty exclusive faith school!

  2. yes, please REMIND your fiends to VOTE!! tell them it was LAZINESS that got this situation…

    • Probs worth asking friends as well as fiends?

    • Walkinthepark

      I’m not sure the ones who didn’t vote are the fiends!

      I’m not sure it was laziness that got them in either. I and I think a few others did actually vote for this lot quite deliberately, because I fell for the no high rise at the station promise. Nor did I realise some vague promise of supporting a new Catholic School meant giving up the best site for a new school that would meet the looming need for new school places for the majority of our community to an exclusive school that would exclude them. Now we have a school approved by government to meet the needs of the majority but it has nowhere to go………Couldn’t help noticing that the Conservative candidates for the Twickenham riverside ward the community whose needs were ignored in giving away the Clifden site, have decided not to mention the new Catholic School as one of this Council’s great achievements, unlike the rest of the conservative candidates in the rest of the borough. I wonder why?

      Nor of course did I realise only one candidate would still be in Twickenham representing what she stood for…..

      Still, won’t make that mistake again……….

  3. well what would you vote for a ‘promise’ that in a few years you MAY get a ‘youth centre’ – even the kids are sick of seeing that vanishing… it seems councillors are short-sighted everywhere, not just about town stuff…
    they just look at the cover – “that looks lovely” without even worrying that the sorting office site has not even started yet!!! not even the ‘showhome’ has been finished, and the plans say that area is ‘amenity grass’…

  4. Ian

    While I appreciate that, on the surface, this looks like good news for young people – in that they will continue to have access to a building which was and is theirs by right and by legal covenant – all is not at as it seems. The council is systematically stripping out the services young people enjoyed at Heatham and moving inexorably from a position where use was ‘universal’ e.g. for all young people, towards ‘targeted’ e.g. you will only have access if the borough considers a young person to be troubled or at risk. Watch out for the Achieving for Children model, agreed by our wonderful councillors across Richmond and Kingston. AfC stinks to high heaven. There was no consultation on whether we wanted it and anybody with a different proposal on how a social enterprise model could be used to deliver young people’s services was shut out of the discussion, shouted down or simply ignored. Meanwhile, AfC will be delivered by none other than Richmond’s current head of youth services for a sum which nobody from the council is prepared to discuss with the public, despite the fact that we will pay for it.
    While its true that Heatham may not end up as a boutique hotel, it is not impossible that it will eventually become AfC’s base of operations.
    My message to the current administration, currently in office by the slimmest of margins, is: Beware the May elections because the public will be reminded of all that you have ‘achieved’ here.