Anger over £9m cen­tre

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community Life - BY JONATHAN KALMUS

PLANS FOR a £9 mil­lion fam­ily cen­tre in Sal­ford have come un­der fire from strictly Or­tho­dox lo­cal res­i­dents and a school over is­sues of se­cu­rity and re­li­gious sen­si­tiv­ity.

Sal­ford Coun­cil is in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Jewish leaders af­ter 50 res­i­dents turned out to protest against the pro­posed cen­tre, known as The Hub, at a re­cent con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing.

Un­der the plans, the Tal­mud To­rah Pri­mary School in Welling­ton Street East would be in close prox­im­ity to the cen­tre. Rabbi Joshua Wald­man, who heads the 250-pupil school, is con­cerned that stone throw­ing and ver­bal abuse will be­come a prob­lem once again if the cen­tre goes ahead.

“Now the area has been re­gen­er­ated from a for­mer coun­cil es­tate there has been a 90 per cent re­duc­tion in in­ci­dents,” Rabbi Wald­man ex­plained.

The pro­posed site “will at­tract the youths that caused those ter­ri­ble prob­lems”, he claimed.

An­other Jewish com­mu­nity leader, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, sug­gested that the coun­cil had aban­doned plans to de­sign the cen­tre with the Or­tho­dox com­mu­nity specif­i­cally in mind. He pointed out that the open­plan de­sign would de­ter many who might want to use the sports fa­cil­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly re­li­gious women.

Coun­cil­lor Jim King said the coun­cil had been work­ing with an Or­tho­dox Jewish ar­chi­tect. “We want to re­move the ob­jec­tions of the Jewish com­mu­nity.” Fur­ther con­sul­ta­tions are sched­uled over the next fort­night.

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