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Monmouthshire Council to arrange meeting with Tudor Centre campaigners

Campaigners outside the Tudor Centre during the padlock protest (Pic: Supplied)

A COUNCIL is to meet with campaigners who are battling to re-open a day centre that closed at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. 

The meeting comes as a motion, which the full council will have the opportunity to vote on, calls for the authority to prepare for the reopening of the Tudor Centre.

It has remained locked and unused since it was closed in Mach 2020 as services and buildings shut down and campaigners have now attached padlocks to the fencing around the building.

Padlock and messages were attached to the fence at the Tudor Centre (Pic: Supplied)

Monmouthshire County Council is currently considering the former school, in Tudor Street, as a potential new base for its My Day, My Life support service for adults with learning disabilities along with two other buildings in Abergavenny. 

The motion, put forward by Conservative opposition leader Richard John will be considered by the full council when it meets on Thursday, September 21.

The Save Tudor Street campaign was launched in November last year when the council announced, without consultation, it intended to approve the formal closure of the building and sell the site for affordable housing.  

A campaigner’s poster highlighted unhappiness at how the centre has remained closed (Pic: Supplied)

However campaigners forced the plans to sell the building to be put on hold and a review of the support service found it had deteriorated without a base and the council has accepted My Day, My Life should have a base in both Abergaveny and Monmouth. 

The group wants the council to commit to the Tudor Centre as the Abergavenny base and say it is the most suitable due it having been adapted to accommodate those with physical disabilities and its long standing role as a centre of activities and support for people with varying disabilities and needs. 

Some of those who attended the protest gathered outside the Tudor Centre (Pic: Supplied)

Owen B Lewis, of the campaign group, said campaigners had marched through the town this week before placing the padlocks on the gates outside the centre. 

He said: “The council want to meet with us to discuss the way forward and we are hopeful this will lead to the re-opening of Tudor Street.” 

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He also said the protest had received cross party support from Monmouthshire councillors and “the wonderful and supportive” wider community in Abergavenny. 

He said: “There are so many great people in our community supporting us, over 20 people, from work vans to cars, beeped their horns in support and unity.” 

Campaigner Sarah Griffiths (Pic: Supplied)

A spokesperson for Monmouthshire County Council confirmed it has offered to meet with members of the campaign group, and is still working on responding to the recommendations of the My Day, My Life review. 

They said: “We understand that the Tudor Street campaign is about the needs of vulnerable people in Abergavenny and where and how they receive support.

“We acknowledge the strength of feeling and have offered a meeting with key members of the campaign. In the meantime, our work regarding implementing the outcomes from the review of My Day My Life services continues as planned, including the decision-making about a good home base for My Day My Life in Abergavenny and Monmouth.” 

The padlock protest is designed as a temporary art installation, which is intended to be in place for month to draw attention to the at-risk community building, and the padlocks are intended to represent a united message of supporters “locking in” their commitment to the building. 

Campaigners say they want the council to listen to them (Pic: Supplied)

It’s hoped others will also add their own padlocks to the gates, though it intended that they can be easily removed after a month.