Adults and Children’s Committee lasted until midnight on Wednesday 16th March 2016. Amongst the items on the agenda was the future of Searchlight youth centre. Searchlight is a youth centre situated off Kingston Road opposite King Henry’s Road. It mainly serves the young people of the Cambridge Estate. You can look it up on Kingston Council website here here. Labour Councillors have opposed its closure. You can read about Labour’s opposition on this website here. There were no motions tabled by the Liberal Democrats.
The closure of Norbiton’s Searchlight Youth Centre was decided by a Tory chairman’s casting vote last evening during an often heated two and a half hour debate in the council chamber in front of a full public gallery of young people from the Norbiton estate.
An amendment put by Labour’s Cllr Linsey Cottington to keep Searchlight open until the Cambridge Road Estate Regeneration scheme was decided was narrowly defeated.
Linsey said: “The Tories have ignored the repeated pleas of local young people as well as a petition, started by a local school girl and signed by 1700 local residents, to keep open the Centre that has been serving local generations for over 30 years.
During this time Searchlight has provided a safe, friendly and nurturing centre for our children and young people.
But after this August when Searchlight closes, the Tories are telling the kids from the Cambridge Estate that they’ll have to walk over to Dickerage Sports and Community Centre, in the heart of the Tory Coombe Vale ward, for their youth centre activities.
And they’ve promised them “an even better service” in the future than the one they have now.
Having taken their centre away from them it sounds to me like jam tomorrow.”