Funding decision delay for club

AN Ipswich community group's future remains in doubt today after town chiefs failed to come to a decision over whether it would pull its funding.

AN Ipswich community group's future remains in doubt today after town chiefs failed to come to a decision over whether it would pull its funding.

Demonstrators from the Ipswich Caribbean Association (ICA) gathered outside Ipswich Borough Council headquarters on Thursday to join an ongoing row over the possible removal of an annual �50,000 grant.

Association members fear the site of its community building in Woodbridge Road may be used for the development of flats.

But the council awarded the group a stay of execution as an overview and scrutiny committee failed to reach a decision over continued funding at Thursday's meeting.


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Gavin Maclure, acting chair of the committee, said: “It was decided that the matter should be referred back to the executive committee for a final decision to be reached and that it should be asked to further consider the possible impact of their decision on the community.

Protestors fear that without the funding the club will close which will see the loss of a great service.

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Footballer Kieron Dyer's father Leroy was at the demonstration. He said: “People like my son and Titus Bramble have mentioned their concern about the future of the ICA.

“These are the young people who have come through the system in Ipswich. Without the ICA the council is losing a valuable service.”

Albert Grant, ICA treasurer, added: “Without that funding the association will be no more.

“We came here from the Caribbean when this country needed us and we worked in the foundries or as nurses. Some of us broke our backs. Are we not entitled to have somewhere we can go to as a sanctuary?”

Jennifer Kemp, 64, of Phoenix Road, Ipswich, has been going to the club every Tuesday for the last five years. She said: “I never knew there was such a strong Caribbean community in Ipswich until I went along.

“It would be a real wrench if we didn't have a place to go where people of all colours and denominations can meet and enjoy each other's company.

Hamil Clarke, chairman of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality and former mayor of Ipswich said: “The Labour party has in recent times not been looking sufficiently at equality. If it had been, it would have made sure that there was a balanced representation of the community when pushing for seats in the council.”

Should the council pull funding for the ICA? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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