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Groups opposed to Park Board takeover of Community Centres

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Operators of Vancouver’s 27 community centres are banding together, hoping to combat a plan that will see the city’s Park Board take over operations.

“The circumstances are that the Park Board has said ‘We need to have control of all revenues that are generated by the community centres’,” said Robert Lockhart, a member of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society and who also heads up the My Vancouver Community Centres organization, a group of concerned community centre operators.

Lockhart and his compatriots are concerned that if the move goes ahead, community centres in the city will no longer be able to keep the funding they generate and will also lose the unique programs that are tailored to each individual community.

Not so said the Park Board’s Malcom Bromley.

The current arrangement has been in place for 50 years and Bromley believes that the city is overdue for a new agreement. He also said they’re not looking to cut services, rather they’re hoping to provide a more equitable range of programs across the city, evening out perceived imbalances.

“We’ve been working with the community centre associations for eight or nine months to take a look at ways of updating the partnership agreement that we have,” said Bromley.

“[We hope] that some of the community centres that perhaps don’t have the richness of some of those programs do get to perhaps expand their programs to get the same level of service.”

Bromley said there’s no timeline for reaching a new agreement.

Lockhart’s group will meet at the Kerrisdale Community Centre Tuesday night at 7p.m. to discuss their next move.