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Crewkerne centre supporters hit back at 'Berlin Wall' criticism

By Western Gazette - Crewkerne  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

Kay Chant, centre, with children from the Jigsaw Pre-School. Mrs Chant has hit back at critics of the George Reynold Centre, saying it is a vital facility for Crewkerne

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A supporter of the George Reynolds Centre has hit back at claims it resembles the Berlin Wall.

Kay Chant, 63, is manager of the Jigsaw Pre-School which will move into the George Reynolds Centre when it is completed in a few weeks’ time. The group, as well as the Crewkerne out-of-school club, is currently based in the West One Centre.

Mrs Chant is a lifelong resident of Crewkerne and insists the building is crucial for the future of the town.

She said: “I felt I had to say something in response to these comparisons to the Berlin Wall. The George Reynolds centre is not getting any good publicity.

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“There have been a lot of stories in the paper against the centre and how Henhayes is a green area. I appreciate that but if you look at the size of the space that will emerge when the old changing rooms come down, there is actually more.

“When I was raised in Crewkerne the green area was almost completely enclosed, much worse than it is now or will be when the building is finished.

“The building does not look like the Berlin Wall.

“It doesn’t look great at the moment but it is not finished. It will look very pleasant and very welcoming in the end.

“The majority of people in the town are in favour of the building.

“Times need to change to suit people, the town cannot stagnate, we’ve got to move forward.”

The centre will be home to the town’s rugby, football and cricket clubs as well as current users of the West One Centre.

It is being built between the Henhayes Centre and the Aquacentre and in front of the Lucombe Oak.

Mrs Chant added: “This new building is going to be a great resource for the town.

“In the West One Centre, we have no outside facilities. Under Ofsted regulations if we were starting up now, we could not have it at West One. We are granted some leeway because we were there before the newer rules came in, but we can’t stay there forever either.

“At the new building we will have an outdoor area, it is vital for us.

“We pride ourselves on helping people in Crewkerne with childcare. The people using this building will be aged between two years old and retirement age.

“I feel very strongly about this, we have to move with the times and look at what people need.”

Richard Keylock, committee member of Crewkerne Cricket Club, wrote to the Western Gazette this week, highlighting how the new building would be a massive improvement for sports people in the town.

He said sports clubs had already seen an uptake in participation levels before the building had even opened.

He said: “The siting of the new building has almost by accident ended up in a perfect position. The panoramic views that will be afforded from the new facility will be outstanding and I am convinced that the new facility will be extremely successful.”

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