RESIDENTS have raised concerns over having to 'unfairly' pay the same hire rates for the town's only portable cabin community centre as others in the borough.

The 19 council-run community centres across Warrington can be used to hold events and meetings.

It costs £15 for a 'small-sized' meeting room, £18 for a 'medium-sized' room, £20 for a 'large-sized' room, £20 for an IT suite and £10 for a kitchen.

But on weekends any of the facilities can be hired for £20.

However, Sankey Bridges Community Centre has the same hire rates as each of the others in the town – despite it being the only one to be operating out of a portable cabin.

Cllr Hitesh Patel (LAB – Great Sankey South) said: "In the current economic climate it is right that the council looks to ensure all services 'pay their way'.

"But residents have told me that there is something inherently unfair about them being asked to pay the same rates for community centre usage when their local community centre is just a portacabin – and all other council-run community centres across the town are proper, well-insulated buildings.

"I will continue pressing the case for Sankey Bridges Community Centre to be refurbished and brought up to the same standards as others in the council's portfolio, so that Sankey Bridges residents can access the diverse range of community activities other Warrington Borough Council community centres currently deliver."

The council has responded to the concerns.

A spokesman said: "As a responsible landlord, with a duty of care to those using our community centres and a responsibility to the council taxpayers who subsidise them, we are in the process of introducing minimum standards and a uniform pricing structure across all centres.

"This is the right and fair thing to do.

"The standards we are introducing – around child protection, health and safety, dementia-friendly buildings and so on – reflect the fact that the council owns the buildings, assumes all the associated risks and pays the utility bills.

"We very much value the work of community groups and our community initiative fund will ensure that none of them will be out of pocket."