Council may open office in community centre

Byron Council may open an office in the Byron Bay Cultural and Community Centre as it looks to play a greater role in the ongoing management of the facility.

Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the council’s increased role could see it moving some of its services to the centre.

A report went to the council two weeks ago outlining concerns about the financial position of the Byron Bay Community Association, which manages the centre, in the wake of a request by the association for help from the council in paying an $80,000 bill to the Australian Tax Office.

Despite a staff recommendation to reject the request, the council voted to receive a report on the council’s capacity to provide an $80,000 five-year loan to the association and also a report on possible partnership models between the council and the association.

The council already has a strong link with the centre, having contributed $522,000 towards the cost of its redevelopment.

Cr Barham said a way had to be found to keep the centre, which had been struggling, in community management.

She said the council owed it to the community to do what it could.

“It may mean we move some of the services we provide to the community centre,” she said. “I think it’s time to review the partnership relationship with a greater role from the council.”

The centre’s manager, Paul Spooner, told the Byron News last week he was looking to see the link with the council strengthened.

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