Former mayor voices concerns after Brent Council axes youth centre

Dennis Jackson centre named after ex-politican is closed after more than 30 years

Brent council must honour the work that youths undertook more than 30 years ago to fund a popular youth centre, a former Brent mayor says.

Dennis Jackson, who was mayor of Brent between 1970 and 1971 clubbed together with local youths to raise funds for the The Dennis Jackson Youth Centre which stood on London Road for more than 30 years.

However, the building was closed on health and safety grounds in January this year.

Mr Jackson, 88 contacted the Times to explain the colourful history behind the centre.

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He said: “I was very much into the youth movement and wanted to do something for the kids of Brent.

“We decided that we would raise enough money to able to fund the building of a new centre.”

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Throughout Mr Jackson’s year in office various fundraising activities were undertaken including him rowing a boat round the Welsh Harp for sponsorship.

Various youngsters in the borough also raised money by using furniture as transport, including a group of people who rode down the North Circular Road on a double bed.

Mr Jackson, who grew up in Sheldon Road, Cricklewood and now lives in Cambridgeshire spoke with fond memories of his year as mayor.

He said: “It was a great year and really good fun, it’s a significant building and I think what the children did should be commemorated as it was a great achievement.”

The youth group still meets under the name The Dennis Jackson Youth Centre yet the meetings now take place at Claremont School on Claremont Avenue; however Mr Jackson stressed the need for the original building to remain.

He said: “It’s great that the children still have somewhere to go but something needs to be done to save the building because it stands for what we did and I’m sure will provide great memories for people.”

A Spokesman for Brent Council said that no decision has been as yet on the future of the centre.

**Do you remember helping to fund the building of the Dennis Jackson Centre or attending it, or have any pictures? If so email**

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