Picket plans to save Garstang Community Centre

Protests, picketing and even chaining themselves to railings – Garstang’s action groups have warned they will do whatever it takes to keep the town’s community centre.

By Mark White
Wednesday, 14th October 2015, 7:51 am
Garstang Community/Business Centre
Garstang Community/Business Centre

At a public meeting last night, which attracted more than 250 people, Action Garstang and Garstang Under Threat said they wanted the people of the town to get behind stopping the possible demolition.

The direct action is planned to be the pinnacle of a long-running campaign by the groups who have fears the development could “ruin Garstang’s character,take people away from the town centre businesses and spoil the beauty of the Millennium Green”.

They are particularly upset at the sell-off of the community centre.

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Protests and picketing is now planned over the next few weeks.

The groups are campaigning against the proposed demolition of Garstang Community and Business Centre and redevelopment as 30 retirement flats and a supermarket.

The town centre site would also see a reduction in car parking after a Blackpool-based developer was thought to have bid £1.6m for the Wyre Council owned site.

The meeting saw leaflets handed out containing contact information for county and Wyre councillors with the groups encouraging people to share their views.

Wyre council also said although it had changed plans for a walkabout on Monday, it still went ahead.

The intention of the walk was to highlight Shaping Your Neighbourhood projects in the area and talk to people about how the initiative could help.

Mary Randles, a member of the groups and who co-chaired the meeting, said: “We were thrilled with the number of people that turned up.

“It shows a real show of support and how many people want to make a difference.”

Richard Whyman, who also chaired the meeting, said: “Last night’s meeting showed that a lot of people care about this cause. If we all put our heads together then anything is possible and there’s no reason why we couldn’t raise the money to buy it as a community venture.”

Here’s how the story has developed: