Tuesday, 9 December 2008

New mosque and community facilities for Oadby

The Oadby and Wigston Muslim Association has published proposals for the use of the old library in Sandhurst Street as a mosque and community centre.

OWMA has patiently campaigned for a long time to find suitable premises for daily prayers and other community activities. It's not been easy in a congested and largely-developed borough to identify where the best location would be. It seems to me that their purchase of the old library could represent the best solution and I wish them well.

The OWMA's proposals are explained in their own words here:


As a group, our aim is to provide a much needed Community Centre in the Borough to provide various activities, which would be open to all in the community, for example:

Promoting Multi-Cultural cohesion by engaging with the local community and hosting multi-cultural events (eg at Christmas, Diwali, Hannuka etc).
Running Health Awareness Programmes (e.g. Diabetes, smoking awareness, drugs, etc)
Tackling Crime (e.g. helping the police with local issues, reducing teenager crime, teenager activities to keep them off the streets)
Emphasising Global Issues (e.g. protecting the environment, and the OWMA’s stand against terrorism)
Promoting Awareness of Islam (e.g. hosting open Eid functions)
Providing activities for the elderly (e.g. health awareness, learning new skills e.g. IT, advice re pensions/claims etc)
Providing facilities for women (ladies-only functions/activities, crèche facilities)
Youth clubs and sports activities for all ages
Hiring of Community Centre to any group subject to availability and conditions of use

These activities are intended to benefit all people in  the Oadby & Wigston area. 
In addition we will have a small designated area within the Community Centre to be used for daily prayers.
Here are some myths clarified:
Any large domes/minarets?..............NO!
Any expansion to the existing structure?.........NO!
Any loud/audible calls to prayers that disturb the neighbourhood?..........NO!
Any traffic congestion?............NO!

OWMA would also like to clarify that it does not intend to demolish the existing building unless the existing structure is deemed unsuitable/unsafe for use by building inspectors.  Any replacement structure will be of a similar footprint and size to the existing one and there are no plans to have large domes or minarets.  We have also considered the implications of traffic and parking at the facility and do not foresee a problem, since we do not anticipate usage of the car park over and beyond that of the previous library. Additionally, there are car parking attendants who continually monitor usage of the public car park and will fine users as appropriate.   
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at contactowma@googlemail.com