Bromley Council 'abandoning youth of Penge' by selling off building used as youth club

This Is Local London: Left to right: Max Eaton, Peter Heath, Glen Paten and John Wheeler outside the old CAB. Left to right: Max Eaton, Peter Heath, Glen Paten and John Wheeler outside the old CAB.

A PASTOR has accused Bromley Council of "abandoning the youth of Penge" over plans to sell a building being used as a club for local children.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Snowdown Close, Penge, closed in February this year.

Christ Central Church approached the council in May, around the time Kadar Hussein was shot dead in nearby Kenilworth Road, with plans to use the building as a youth club.

The council gave the church permission to use the building rent-free, but has now decided to sell it to the highest bidder.

Pastor John Wheeler, of Christ Central Church in Green Lane, Penge, said: "They shut the CAB down and the building did lend itself for a youth centre so we approached the council.

"We thought it was a real waste of a council asset when it could be used for all sorts of activities for young people in the area, so we put forward a bunch of ideas of what we would run.

"They agreed to let us use it until they decided what to do with it.

"We cleaned it all up, cut the grass, cut down all the bushes and the weeds.

"And now they have decided to pass it on to the highest bidder."

This Is Local London:

John Wheeler outside the old CAB.

The church runs a football club on the fields next to the CAB on a Saturday, as well as a dance club and a homework club.

The 65-year-old said: "We are probably going to put an offer in, but we just cannot compete with a developer, who'll probably just convert it into flats.

"They have already sold The Drum which was a youth club in the area.

"There is nothing for the youth in Penge to do.

"Slowly but surely they are abandoning the youth of Penge."

A council spokeswoman said: "Following the council’s informal tender process to lease this property, interest for a community use was disappointing. 

"We always consider our options carefully when managing our assets and it is important to do this, particularly during this period of financial challenges, with residents aware of the unavoidable need for continued budget reductions. 

"In this challenging financial climate, the council is committed to protecting front line services as far as possible for residents and to do this significant savings must be made which is why we are offering this building for sale."

Click here to sign a petition to save the youth centre.

Comments (11)

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8:45pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Eagles_Man says...

"There is nothing for the youth in Penge to do."

So the entire yoof population of Penge was in the centre every night was it?

Young people today have free education, free public transport, loads of clubs to join (and no doubt homework to do) and I'm sure they all have homes to go to. Don't start making excuses for the tiny minority of youths who hang around the streets causing trouble.

Oh, and as for "we just cannot compete with a developer, who'll probably just convert it into flats." ... Housing crisis? What housing crisis?
"There is nothing for the youth in Penge to do." So the entire yoof population of Penge was in the centre every night was it? Young people today have free education, free public transport, loads of clubs to join (and no doubt homework to do) and I'm sure they all have homes to go to. Don't start making excuses for the tiny minority of youths who hang around the streets causing trouble. Oh, and as for "we just cannot compete with a developer, who'll probably just convert it into flats." ... Housing crisis? What housing crisis? Eagles_Man

8:48am Tue 10 Dec 13

goldenbroomboy says...

Eagles_Man wrote:
"There is nothing for the youth in Penge to do." So the entire yoof population of Penge was in the centre every night was it? Young people today have free education, free public transport, loads of clubs to join (and no doubt homework to do) and I'm sure they all have homes to go to. Don't start making excuses for the tiny minority of youths who hang around the streets causing trouble. Oh, and as for "we just cannot compete with a developer, who'll probably just convert it into flats." ... Housing crisis? What housing crisis?
Rubbish.

The whole point of the article is there is NOT very much for young people in Penge to do. Would you rather they were all sitting indoors playing on computers?

As for "Housing Crisis", the entire Crystal Palace Park could be bricked over & property developers would still look for more. If anything the biggest waste of green space in that area at the moment is Selhurst Park.
[quote][p][bold]Eagles_Man[/bold] wrote: "There is nothing for the youth in Penge to do." So the entire yoof population of Penge was in the centre every night was it? Young people today have free education, free public transport, loads of clubs to join (and no doubt homework to do) and I'm sure they all have homes to go to. Don't start making excuses for the tiny minority of youths who hang around the streets causing trouble. Oh, and as for "we just cannot compete with a developer, who'll probably just convert it into flats." ... Housing crisis? What housing crisis?[/p][/quote]Rubbish. The whole point of the article is there is NOT very much for young people in Penge to do. Would you rather they were all sitting indoors playing on computers? As for "Housing Crisis", the entire Crystal Palace Park could be bricked over & property developers would still look for more. If anything the biggest waste of green space in that area at the moment is Selhurst Park. goldenbroomboy

9:26am Tue 10 Dec 13

sarfflondonbird says...

As the article says, it was only let by the council for the free use until the council decided what to do with it. Well, they have decided that the building must pay, so are now selling it. Fair dos. It seemed only let to the youth club on a temporary basis.
What's wrong with the church hall then or its place of worship? Is that too good to be used for a youth club? That's where youngsters used to attend youth clubs in days of old.
As the article says, it was only let by the council for the free use until the council decided what to do with it. Well, they have decided that the building must pay, so are now selling it. Fair dos. It seemed only let to the youth club on a temporary basis. What's wrong with the church hall then or its place of worship? Is that too good to be used for a youth club? That's where youngsters used to attend youth clubs in days of old. sarfflondonbird

9:30am Tue 10 Dec 13

sarfflondonbird says...

When article features a disgruntled person with issues, why have these people photographed ALWAYS got folded arms as if they are'ready to do business'. It makes them appear aggressive or out to cause trouble.....our is that the intention?
When article features a disgruntled person with issues, why have these people photographed ALWAYS got folded arms as if they are'ready to do business'. It makes them appear aggressive or out to cause trouble.....our is that the intention? sarfflondonbird

10:56am Tue 10 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
When article features a disgruntled person with issues, why have these people photographed ALWAYS got folded arms as if they are'ready to do business'. It makes them appear aggressive or out to cause trouble.....our is that the intention?
Your standard of written English is appalling.

Is English your first language ?
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: When article features a disgruntled person with issues, why have these people photographed ALWAYS got folded arms as if they are'ready to do business'. It makes them appear aggressive or out to cause trouble.....our is that the intention?[/p][/quote]Your standard of written English is appalling. Is English your first language ? Gypo.Joe

11:41am Tue 10 Dec 13

ModernToss says...

I never needed a youth club when I was a boy. I was doing my homework, bit of TV and bed before school or playing with me pals round their house, footie in the garden or the numerous fields around Beckenham.

The feral youths in Penge, the sort that need to use youth clubs - their parents have no idea what they're up to when they're out. Probably because they've had more kids then they can afford and are too busy looking after baby number 5.

Between a lot of em a football is pittance and the park is free. Homework is even cheaper. I don't expect to see groups of kids under 16 loitering on the streets at 10pm on a school night.
I never needed a youth club when I was a boy. I was doing my homework, bit of TV and bed before school or playing with me pals round their house, footie in the garden or the numerous fields around Beckenham. The feral youths in Penge, the sort that need to use youth clubs - their parents have no idea what they're up to when they're out. Probably because they've had more kids then they can afford and are too busy looking after baby number 5. Between a lot of em a football is pittance and the park is free. Homework is even cheaper. I don't expect to see groups of kids under 16 loitering on the streets at 10pm on a school night. ModernToss

7:11pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Doc316 says...

Unfortunately the comments that have been made so far, through no real fault of their own, are with very little information, and it appears have been formed on the basis of what has been arranged by this small piece of media coverage and a dodgy picture arranged and captured by a journalist!. My understanding is that the ideas for the centre are for wider 'community' use, not just the youth alone. Also the intention is to continue and grow the activities which are focused and positive, not just a hive to gather trouble! currently there are homework clubs, football and dance workshops and more. Also this council building would be put to good use in addition to the church building, which (sarfflondonbird) is already in constant use in various ways to serve and bless the community in social, spiritual and practical ways. Surely this proposal will do people good in all kinds of ways... It's so important we ask more integral questions before we comment, otherwise we just make ignorant and irrational comments ;)
Unfortunately the comments that have been made so far, through no real fault of their own, are with very little information, and it appears have been formed on the basis of what has been arranged by this small piece of media coverage and a dodgy picture arranged and captured by a journalist!. My understanding is that the ideas for the centre are for wider 'community' use, not just the youth alone. Also the intention is to continue and grow the activities which are focused and positive, not just a hive to gather trouble! currently there are homework clubs, football and dance workshops and more. Also this council building would be put to good use in addition to the church building, which (sarfflondonbird) is already in constant use in various ways to serve and bless the community in social, spiritual and practical ways. Surely this proposal will do people good in all kinds of ways... It's so important we ask more integral questions before we comment, otherwise we just make ignorant and irrational comments ;) Doc316

10:10am Fri 13 Dec 13

rescoffering says...

...bromley should cut off its border at the war memorial roundabout in beckenham towards penge... let lambeth or whoever else wants it have that part - worst part of bromley in my humble opinion.
...bromley should cut off its border at the war memorial roundabout in beckenham towards penge... let lambeth or whoever else wants it have that part - worst part of bromley in my humble opinion. rescoffering

3:10pm Sat 14 Dec 13

goldenbroomboy says...

rescoffering wrote:
...bromley should cut off its border at the war memorial roundabout in beckenham towards penge... let lambeth or whoever else wants it have that part - worst part of bromley in my humble opinion.
Historically Penge WAS a separate borough (well, UDC to be precise).

Blame the Tories, it was their idea to amalgamate everywhere from Crystal Palace to Berrys Green.
[quote][p][bold]rescoffering[/bold] wrote: ...bromley should cut off its border at the war memorial roundabout in beckenham towards penge... let lambeth or whoever else wants it have that part - worst part of bromley in my humble opinion.[/p][/quote]Historically Penge WAS a separate borough (well, UDC to be precise). Blame the Tories, it was their idea to amalgamate everywhere from Crystal Palace to Berrys Green. goldenbroomboy

4:25pm Sat 14 Dec 13

sarfflondonbird says...

Doc316 wrote:
Unfortunately the comments that have been made so far, through no real fault of their own, are with very little information, and it appears have been formed on the basis of what has been arranged by this small piece of media coverage and a dodgy picture arranged and captured by a journalist!. My understanding is that the ideas for the centre are for wider 'community' use, not just the youth alone. Also the intention is to continue and grow the activities which are focused and positive, not just a hive to gather trouble! currently there are homework clubs, football and dance workshops and more. Also this council building would be put to good use in addition to the church building, which (sarfflondonbird) is already in constant use in various ways to serve and bless the community in social, spiritual and practical ways. Surely this proposal will do people good in all kinds of ways... It's so important we ask more integral questions before we comment, otherwise we just make ignorant and irrational comments ;)
Fair point, but surely social, spiritual and practical ways do not need to take up all the hours of the week. Granted it would be a bit difficult for football and such like sports, but then again, they have a pitch available to use for practice and games so it says, why should that pose a problem? it didn't in the past.. Homework clubs could finish around 6pm as in dance workshops, which used to when I was at school. Others such as spiritual and social normally start around 6.30 to 7pm., or they do in the church near to me.
They managed in the past without all this free given space, why can they not adapt now?
[quote][p][bold]Doc316[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately the comments that have been made so far, through no real fault of their own, are with very little information, and it appears have been formed on the basis of what has been arranged by this small piece of media coverage and a dodgy picture arranged and captured by a journalist!. My understanding is that the ideas for the centre are for wider 'community' use, not just the youth alone. Also the intention is to continue and grow the activities which are focused and positive, not just a hive to gather trouble! currently there are homework clubs, football and dance workshops and more. Also this council building would be put to good use in addition to the church building, which (sarfflondonbird) is already in constant use in various ways to serve and bless the community in social, spiritual and practical ways. Surely this proposal will do people good in all kinds of ways... It's so important we ask more integral questions before we comment, otherwise we just make ignorant and irrational comments ;)[/p][/quote]Fair point, but surely social, spiritual and practical ways do not need to take up all the hours of the week. Granted it would be a bit difficult for football and such like sports, but then again, they have a pitch available to use for practice and games so it says, why should that pose a problem? it didn't in the past.. Homework clubs could finish around 6pm as in dance workshops, which used to when I was at school. Others such as spiritual and social normally start around 6.30 to 7pm., or they do in the church near to me. They managed in the past without all this free given space, why can they not adapt now? sarfflondonbird

4:26pm Sat 14 Dec 13

sarfflondonbird says...

Gypo.Joe wrote:
sarfflondonbird wrote:
When article features a disgruntled person with issues, why have these people photographed ALWAYS got folded arms as if they are'ready to do business'. It makes them appear aggressive or out to cause trouble.....our is that the intention?
Your standard of written English is appalling.

Is English your first language ?
I write so the likes of you can understand what I am saying.
[quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: When article features a disgruntled person with issues, why have these people photographed ALWAYS got folded arms as if they are'ready to do business'. It makes them appear aggressive or out to cause trouble.....our is that the intention?[/p][/quote]Your standard of written English is appalling. Is English your first language ?[/p][/quote]I write so the likes of you can understand what I am saying. sarfflondonbird

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