Cameron House Community Centre floods for the third time

Cameron House on Prestonfield Avenue has been plagued by bizarre incidents. Picture Steven Scott Taylor.
Cameron House on Prestonfield Avenue has been plagued by bizarre incidents. Picture Steven Scott Taylor.
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A COMMUNITY centre dogged by botched building works and a row over alleged dirty tricks has been hit by further problems, the Evening News can reveal.

The floor of Cameron House Community Centre in Prestonfield has again suffered water damage after flooding twice before.

Picture; Steven Scott Taylor

Picture; Steven Scott Taylor

A probe into previous problems at the centre came amid allegations of doctored e-mails, missing documents and the wasting of more than £146,000 of public money.

City council officials confirmed that the latest damage at the centre was being assessed but refused to provide details on the extent and cost.

Edinburgh Tigers basketball manager, Laurie Brown said of the problems: “One side of the floor has boards down as a temporary fix and it’s been like that for a couple of months.” She added that the sports hall was closed before Christmas with half its area cordoned off and training sessions cancelled.

Political figures have expressed concern.

Councillor Cameron Rose, city council Tory leader and ward member for Southside-Newington, said the centre had been “plagued with build problems”.

He added: “They haven’t been dealt with or taken sufficiently seriously. It’s imperative that the council gets to the bottom of the recurring problems.”

Steve Burgess, Green convenor and Southside-Newington councillor, said: “It’s disappointing the council hasn’t been able to get on top of this. It’s holding back the community centre from being the resource it could be for local people.”

Pilates instructor Marie Thomson, 70, said of the 
centre: “It’s had problems for a very long time. It’s frustrating because it’s a great community centre and the staff there are really helpful.”

Opened in 2009, Cameron House’s sports hall flooded twice, damaging wood, pipes and the heating system.

It was later claimed that the centre had been cleared to open despite effectively having a tarpaulin as part of the roof.

Council papers revealed that failure to carry out recommended work after the first incident resulted in costs of £146,000 when the centre flooded again.

The problems at Cameron House have also been linked to allegations of fraud at an arms-length council company and the harassment of a whistleblower.

John Travers and others close to him were allegedly the victims of a ten-year campaign of intimidation after he claimed £400,000 of public funds had been misspent at the Edinburgh Lifelong Learning Partnership.

This included tampering with personnel records, a barrage of pornography being sent to employees and anonymous online abuse. The allegations are currently the subject of a police investigation.

A council spokesman said: “There are signs of water staining on the flooring [at Cameron House] which we are investigating to establish the exact cause. We are constantly monitoring the condition of the floor however it is not affecting anyone using the hall and the centre’s programme of events is continuing as normal.”