CAMPAIGNERS say they fear they are fighting a losing battle in their bid to re-open a community centre.

Jackie McPherson, a member of the Paton Street hall management committee, pictured, believes there is no hope of saving the centre.

She spoke out after Councillor Tommy McVey failed in a bid to get his fellow elected members to reverse a previous controversial decision to pick Grieve Road hall as the chosen community facility for the ward.

His proposal to suspend standing orders to allow this did not achieve the two-thirds majority needed at a meeting of the education and communities committee.

Officials have been unable to find people to run the Grieve Road hall, which has sparked a row between ward councillors.

Cllr McVey says he fears the area could now be left with no community facilities as a result.

He said: “Grieve Road is not going to happen.

“We’ve lost two centres already and my concern is if we don’t get a management committee, it will close in the future.

“I can’t stand by and let this happen.”

But his ward colleague Councillor Natasha Murphy – who initially supported the Paton Street campaigners before a controversial and decisive late u-turn saw her back the Grieve Road hall in a crunch vote – believes that Mr McVey’s forecasts are too pessimistic.

She said: “I don’t think we are going to get to that situation. I don’t think it’s been long enough to establish a committee. 

“I’ve worked in the community, and it is difficult to get people to come forward.
“People have commitments."

Campaigner Jackie - who had fought to save Paton Street after it closed for more than a year after being fire damaged – has told the Tele she is unhappy with Cllr Murphy’s conduct and insists she will not serve on any committee to run Grieve Road.

Cllr McVey has meanwhile accused Cllr Murphy, inset, of wrongly pointing the finger at local residents over the impasse.

He said: “The fact that Councillor Murphy is trying to blame the people of Paton Street for the failure to get a management committee is shameful.

“They are the only people who turned up at the meeting apart from one person.”

Councillor Murphy has hit back, denying that this is her viewpoint.

He said: “It is not the Paton Street committee’s fault.
“I hope that the Paton Street committee are successful in their other options, it would be great to see two facilities in the ward. 

“I want to support them and I am still open to exploring and discussing options with them.”