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Fury over council cash to bail out East End youth centre

PUBLISHED: 13:01 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:42 05 October 2010

Davenant centre... facing closure

Davenant centre... facing closure

TOWN Hall bosses are forking out £350,000 of taxpayers’ cash to rescue’ a youth centre from going bust in London’s deprived East End, it has emerged. A report discussed behind closed doors by Tower Hamlets Council’s cabinet has revealed the authority is bailing out Whitechapel’s Davenant centre which is facing closure after £400,000 debts

By Gemma Collins

TOWN Hall bosses are forking out £350,000 of taxpayers' cash to 'rescue' a youth centre from going bust in London's deprived East End, it has emerged.

A report discussed behind closed doors by Tower Hamlets Council's cabinet has revealed the authority is bailing out Whitechapel's Davenant centre which is facing closure after struggling with £400,000 debts.

It is the second time in four years the council has agreed to put up money after paying £141,000 in 2005 when plans to refurbish the building left the centre with mounting bills.

'PROSECUTION'

The company running the centre has not submitted its audited accounts for the year ending March last year to Companies House, the report seen by the East London Advertiser says.

"The directors face imminent prosecution and a subsequent fine for themselves and the company," it states.

The Tory Opposition leader at Tower Hamlets, Peter Golds, is calling for a public enquiry.

DISCLOSE

"There needs to be a full public disclosure of where the money has gone," he told the Advertiser.

"It is public money. We have bailed and bailed this centre out, pouring money into this when it could go on essential things like repairing our roads or providing classes at Tower Hamlets College."

The Davenant centre has been left in dire straits by "internal management problems," legal battles between directors and an ongoing row with the Jagonari women's centre which shares the building.

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