Hundreds of residents have signed a petition urging Leeds City Council to keep a popular youth centre open.
Windmill Youth Centre, in Rothwell, is one of 10 council-run community centres that the authority claims is in need of “short term action” as part of a £250,000 cost-cutting plan.
The council is to invite ideas as to how better to run the facilities during a consultation exercise next year and claims closing centres would be a “last resort”, but residents have already joined Rothwell councillors in calling for Windmill to stay as it is.
Angela Kellett, chair of Rothwell Tenants and Residents Association, is among those collecting signatures in person. She said: “It’s about the only youth centre around and about the area and it’s so well used that it would be a real shame to see it close.”
The centre, which the council leases from a community trust, has been part of Rothwell for around 40 years and is used by young people as well as disabled and community groups.
Coun Karen Bruce (Lab, Rothwell) set up an online petition to save Windmill and claims losing it could result in a rise in anti-social behaviour. She said: “We want our children and future generations to have the kind of memories of Windmill that previous generations have enjoyed.”
Coun Stewart Golton, (Lib Dem, Rothwell) has pledged to do his best so that “more groups are encouraged to use the facilities”.
The council has the option of finding new uses and incomes for centres to make them more viable, transferring them to the community or closing them.
Coun Peter Gruen, lead member for neighbourhoods, said although Windmill is well used it is “expensive” to run. He said: “We are looking at several options for the future of the centres and would only consider closing them as a last resort.”
Visit www.karenbruce.co.uk/stop-the-closure-of-windmill-youth-club to sign the petition.