Staffing issue | Community centre used without proper consent?
Local lawmakers have been made aware of a suspicion that at least one community centre is, possibly, being used without proper consent, and about a staffing concern at the Purcell Estate Community Centre.
These were highlighted during recent Standing Finance Committee (SFC) deliberations when legislators met with respective heads of department in government.
The issues were raised when questions were asked about the Purcell Estate Community Centre, which is yet to reopen although renovations to the facility have been completed.
The SFC was told that the Social Development Ministry is “waiting on the Premier’s Office to give a date for the official handing over”.
However, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health & Social Development Petrona Davies noted that the facility is facing challenges with staffing.
According to the 2023 SFC Report, “she (Davies) highlighted [that] a few years ago a request was made for three persons to manage the centre which should not be without a manager. She added that it does not make sense to re-open it if there is no one assigned to manage the day-to-day operations. To her knowledge, it is one of the most used centres and she continues to receive requests to use it.
Chief Social Development Officer Annie Malone Frett then noted that no provisions were made for a manager for the Community Centre and said she is not aware that the Purcell Community Centre had an abundance of activities that warrants a manager.
Cadets and Police Community Outreach headquarters?
Frett said it was discussed that the cadets and Police Community Outreach would use that Community Centre as their headquarters; adding that placing a manager would be determined by the quantity of activities at the centre.
She further said she reviewed the usage of community centres and found that, “Sea Cows Bay and East End/Long Look ranked higher than Purcell and it is a possibility that persons may be using that centre without proper consent.”
Frett noted that her report is based on the records available to her.
It is not clear what is being done to address the matter.