Villager goes on the ATAC over community centre funding

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A WELL-USED community centre has been urged to submit a funding bid after councillors denied they were opposed to it.

Members of Widdrington Station and Stobswood Parish Council were questioned on their attitude to the local Area Training and Activity Centre (ATAC) following comments by newly-elected councillor Jacek Juszczyk that it is often ignored by the authority.

One concerned villager said: “I don’t know why, but I would be interested to know why funds aren’t given to ATAC. It is part of the community and it was notable that one councillor was saying the council is not particularly helping ATAC. Can you give a reason?

“It makes headlines for the wrong reasons. Instead of all the good things that are happening in the community, we read about the bad things.”

Councillors rejected the claims that they were against ATAC, with members Shelly Willoughby and Kevin Batson saying they had never seen an application by the organisation.

The council was then asked if it would look favourably on an ATAC grant request.

Chairman Joe Sennett said: “I can’t say favourably, but it would be looked at. Everybody has the same opportunity to say their piece. If an application comes to the parish it will be looked at.”

Residents were also told that the council had recently shown its support for the ATAC litter-picking group as it nominated the team for a county environment award.

Coun Juszczyk said: “As a member of this council, if ATAC puts forward an application I’m sure that we will look at it with interest and I’m sure that the application will be viable.

“I would like to see it. I would welcome ATAC putting forward an application for support because from what I can see, and from what I have seen over the past 12 months that I have been active in the community, ATAC seems to do an awful lot for our community, for the young people and the elderly.

“From my own personal view, I would like to see this parish council support ATAC.”