Families disappointed after reopening of Tooting children’s centre delayed again


The Triangle One O’Clock club was meant to reopen in April


By Kat Bawmwang

Families in Tooting say they feel let down by Wandsworth Council after the reopening of one of their children’s centres has been delayed for a second time.

The council reassured parents that the Triangle One O’Clock Club on Tooting Common would reopen in April after it was closed for renovation work in November last year.

When the work had still not been completed, Tooting MP Sadiq Khan pressed the council to take action until they replied that the club would open in July at the very earliest.

“Parents feel let down and frustrated by this latest development,” he said.

“Now they just want the council to be open and honest with them.”

Mr Khan had previously contacted the council in April and was told that the club would be re-opened for use in the summer term.

Newly elected Councillor Rosena Allin-Khan of Bedford Ward said the council’s lack of commitment to protecting children’s services was what inspired her to stand for council last month.

She said: “The club has long been a lifeline for local parents who are really struggling without it.”

As a mother of a toddler herself she is very concerned by the delay in the re-opening of the club and said she will be working closely with her fellow councillor to call for the Triangle to be reopened as soon as possible.

Alex Sykes, editor of Mumsnet Wandsworth (a website dedicated to families in the borough) also voiced her concern over the centre as many of the site’s members have expressed their disappointment that the refurbishment has overrun by months.

She said: “Local parents really hope that the Council will be able to stick to the latest date it has given for re-opening the centre, so that they and their children can enjoy it during the summer holidays.”

A spokesman from Wandsworth Council said they are dedicated to providing great child services in the borough and are currently working on expanding and improving them, especially in regards to services for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

They have invested £120,000 in the Triangle in order to provide it with new modern equipment as well as modifying the building to protect it from flood damage.

“What people in Tooting can look forward to is a much better, much brighter, much better equipped children’s centre,” he said.

He also suggested that local parents visit the council’s family information service on their website to help locate a ‘Stay and Play’ near them.

Mr Khan was also involved in the campaign to save the Windmill One O’Clock Club from closure in March last year.

Although the club was kept open, local parents were disappointed as the Windmill will only be open two afternoons a week even though they were promised afternoon and weekday sessions.

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