A furious minister has slammed the council for failing to get behind his community group's efforts to reopen a 'desperately-needed' centre on the problem-plagued Butts Farm Estate.
Reverend Keith Rowbottom says he is frustrated that plans to relaunch the derelict facility, in Saxon Avenue, Hanworth, have stalled, leaving youths on the estate with nothing to do.
He told the Chronicle: "If there is one area that desperately needs a community centre, it's Butts Farm. It's a wonderful community here but there are lots of problems caused by kids having nothing better to do than make trouble.
"This centre could offer activities for people of all ages. You'd think the council would be bending over backwards to help us make it happen."
The minister, of Hanworth Methodist Church, in Churchfields Avenue, is about to step down from his role as chairman of the Zenith Community Group, which attempts to improve life for Butts Farm residents.
After 14 years working with the community, he had hoped to see the plans for the centre, which has sat empty since 2004, moving ahead before he left to take up a new job.
Along with other Zenith members, who include local police, housing groups, residents and schools, he had proposed a feasibility study that would encourage all Butts Farm residents to voice their hopes and ideas for the centre's future.
Before spending £10,000 of community funds on the study they asked Hounslow Council, who are also stake-holders in Zenith, to guarantee they would go along with whatever option residents chose.
"We didn't want to waste people's money if they weren't going to pay any attention," said Rev Rowbottom. "But after nearly two years of rumours and disruptions we were told in June that the council would agree to approve whatever residents chose."
But the Reverend claims plans to launch the study were again plunged into doubt after he received a letter from Cllr Paul Lynch saying the council had changed its mind after receiving 'information'.
Desperate calls and letters from Zenith members were then allegedly met with a month-long wall of silence before another letter arrived saying the mysterious issues had been resolved.
"I just think this is an appalling way for the council to behave," said the reverend. "How much longer will people have to wait while the centre sits empty?"
A council spokesman said: "We have for some time been working with community organisations to bring the centre back into use. The council's executive will be discussing the way forward at its meeting on July 29 and anyone interested is encouraged to attend."
See today's Chronicle for pictures from the Zenith fun day on Sunday.