Concerns over plans to close Queen’s Park sport centre and move facilities to Kensal Rise

Angry residents claim proposal will effect one of the most socially deprived areas in England

Residents have slammed a decision to close a sports centre in one of the country’s most socially deprived area.

Linda Taggart spoke out after Westminster Council announced plans to close Jubilee Sports Centre in Caird Street, Queen’s Park, and move facilities to Moberly Sports Centre, in Kilburn Lane, Kensal Rise.

Ms Taggart, of First Avenue, Queen’s Park, believes removing a community leisure centre and replacing it with flats could be a step back for the area.

Figures released in January by campaign group End Child Poverty, showed that the Queen’s Park ward in Westminster has a child poverty rate of 52 per cent – one of the highest in the country.

Ms Taggart said: “To drag a sports centre out of a deprived area is not a good policy. There is a gang problem in the area and making youths from the Mozart Estate walk down to the South Kilburn area is wrong.”

Ms Taggart added: “We were not consulted. We got a letter through the door telling us it would be happening. The plans have already been drawn up.

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“There are lots of things that still need to be explored and should have been looked at by the wider community. Maybe if we waited for a couple of years, we might be in a better financial situation to keep both, instead of doing this now.”

Cllr Steve Summers, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for sport and leisure, said: “These plans are not about the closure of a sports centre, but its relocation into a new complex, which is larger than the current Moberly and Jubilee centres combined, with top of the range facilities in what will be Westminster’s flagship sports facility.

“The formal plans will not be submitted until August, so we will respond to any concerns raised before then.”