THE Royal Borough Council has been accused of breaking their promises to move volunteers from Maidenhead Community Centre – which is facing demolition – into a new building.

A petition has been set up – which has accumulated more than 900 signatures – to stop the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) demolishing the community centre and evicting volunteers this October and moving them to an ‘inadequate’ temporary site.

Plans were approved back in 2018 for the centre to be demolished for 63 flats as part of the York Road regeneration, with RBWM councillors at that time saying all activities will be safeguarded by re-establishing the Maidenhead Community Centre in a new purpose built building – or part of a building.

After a successful previous petition, RBWM pledged a new building for the activities and volunteers will be accommodated – but now volunteers have been told that won’t happen until 2023 at the earliest.

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A petition needs over 1,500 signatures for it to be heard and debated at full council.

Jack Douglas, the trustee for the centre who set up the petition, told the Observer after the council kicks them out, they will be moved temporarily to the Desborough Suite at Maidenhead town hall until the new building is built – meaning activities held at the centre will have to be halved due to the tight squeeze into 3,000 sqft from 14,000 sqft.

After volunteers are kicked out of the centre this October, Mr Douglas said they would be left ‘in limbo’ for years.

He said: “We’re not trying to stop the development. We think that three years is really not going to make much different to them if they’re really going to build us something else in three years’ time.

“Why don’t they just leave us where we are until they’ve built it?

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“Because they’ve openly stated that they’re not going to keep their promises made to us from council in 2018, when we had a previous petition, it’s hard for us to accept without any question or anxiety on our part of a promise ‘that we’re going to build this thing in 2023 for you and hand it over after you spend three years in the Desborough Suite’.

“In my opinion, after three years the new building might be ready – but we won’t get it anyway because their priorities will have changed.

“We’re very anxious about being demolished with nothing else to go to.”

He added: “We would like to put our case in person to them [councillors] and to do that, we need to get to 1,500 signatures.

“It would be nice for them to say openly ‘no, sorry. We changed our minds and we’re breaking our promise’ rather than just spin it and keep it under the RADAR.”

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A spokesman from RBWM said: “We will respond formally if the petition receives the number of signatures required for it to be discussed at Full Council.

"A relocation offer has been made to both the leaseholder, Royal Voluntary Service, and Maidenhead Community Centre who currently occupy the centre.”

The petition can be viewed here: