Council set to sell groups' premises

Several third sector organisations in west London could have their premises sold from beneath their feet by the local council.

Groups including the Hammersmith & Fulham branch of mental health charity Mind, the Hammersmith & Fulham Carers Centre and the Black British Heritage Group discovered second-hand that Hammersmith and Fulham Council is to sell off 12 properties, including the buildings they occupy.

Amanda Lloyd-Harris, chair of Hammersmith & Fulham Mind, said the decision was taken at a private cabinet meeting. "I heard about it the next day from a source," she said. "Someone could have had the decency to drop me an email."

Lloyd-Harris said she had to contact the council herself to confirm the reports. "They have given us to the end of the municipal year, in May 2008," she said.

"They've suggested three alternative sites that are totally unsuitable for people with mental health issues or anyone with a disability. They're not easily accessible by public transport."

Councillor Mark Loveday, cabinet member for strategy at Hammersmith and Fulham council, said the buildings were being sold to reduce debts.

"We're currently informing and liaising with community organisations and are confident many of the groups can be moved to suitable locations nearby," he added.

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