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Council reaffirms support for Somali Bravanese community group

  • Planning briefs

On the fourth anniversary of the community centre fire in Coppetts Road, Barnet, the council has reaffirmed its support to the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association (SBWA) and the work they do in the local community.

The SBWA has been an important part of the local community over the last 20 years, providing advice, information and support for the Somali Bravanese community, including refugees and asylum seekers, living in Barnet. The group’s previous home at Coppetts Road was destroyed in June 2014 and the SBWA has been operating out of Barnet House, Whetstone, since then.

Barnet Council has been actively working with residents and community groups, including the SBWA. As a result, planning permission for a new community centre at Tarling Road, East Finchley, has been secured following public consultation, with construction set to begin in autumn.  

The new centre at Tarling Road, which should be completed by summer 2018, will provide a permanent new home for the SBWA as part of a shared community centre. The brand new facility will replace the Old Barn Community Centre and a user group has been set up to develop the vision and management structure of the centre as a whole.

The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “It’s four years since the fire that sadly destroyed Coppetts Road Community Centre, which was used by the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association and others. We’re marking this anniversary by reaffirming our support to the SBWA and the work they do in the community, which is particularly important at the present time.  Planning permission for a redeveloped community centre at Tarling Road, East Finchley, has been secured with construction due to begin this autumn.  The new centre at Tarling Road, which replaces the Old Barn Community Centre, will provide a new home for the SBWA, as well as space for other community groups.”

Mr Abubakar Ali, Chair of the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association, said: “The Somali Braveness Welfare Association are delighted to receive continuing commitment and support from Barnet Council to rebuild the centre. Barnet Council have demonstrated how truly focussed they are to delivering the best services for Barnet's residents, and we applaud them for their efforts and achievements.

“We are also grateful to the leader of council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, for his support and leadership. The users of the SBWA remain committed to working with all of our fellow Barnet communities, as we deliver services for the borough's children, young people, older people and all other users.

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