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Proud moment for Cora

PUBLISHED: 17:42 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:24 03 July 2010

ROOM HONOUR: Cora Batley and mayor Paul Garrod at the room naming ceremony at the St James Health and Resource Centre in Great Yarmouth.

ROOM HONOUR: Cora Batley and mayor Paul Garrod at the room naming ceremony at the St James Health and Resource Centre in Great Yarmouth.

A PROLIFIC campaigner for local services has spoken of her pride after her efforts in helping to get a health and resource centre started were recognised when a room was named after her.

A PROLIFIC campaigner for local services has spoken of her pride after her efforts in helping to get a health and resource centre started were recognised when a room was named after her.

The community room at St James Health and Resource Centre in Queen's Road, Great Yarmouth has been named after former mayor Cora Batley, one of the founder members of the residents organisation South Yarmouth Way Forward, which pushed for the centre.

She said: “I am very proud the room was named after me. I was involved with the project right from the start.”

She recalled how the residents' association started at a meeting at the Red Herring in Havelock Road, 12 years ago with the purpose of pushing for a new community facility in one of the most deprived parts of the town.

The result was to create the health centre at the then derelict grade two listed St James' Church to provide Primary Care Trust medical services for the community, such as bandage removal and baby weighing, while visitors can also get advice on stopping smoking.

But the building is not just a health resource, because there is also office space for businesses and charities such as the 1st East urban regeneration company and the learning disability charity Mencap, while there is also a Community Liaison Information Point (CLIP), providing information the community needs.

The Cora Batley Room at the £1.6m centre, which opened two years ago, will be used by social organisations for conferences.

On Monday, Mrs Batley, 84, was presented with a picture frame by Year 7 children at Greenacre School, where she is chairman of governors.

She told the room-naming ceremony, attended by local dignitaries including mayor Paul Garrod and MP Tony Wright, of her of her involvement in the town dating back 50 years.

Barry Coleman, leader of Yarmouth Borough Council, said although as a Tory he had had his differences with the former Labour borough councillor, who was mayor in 1972, the community came first with projects such as the health centre.

He said: “Though Cora and myself were on different political sides that has never come in the way of the work we have done and that is important for the community.

“It is great to see so many schoolchildren here, as you will not have a better role model than this lady here.”

The centre was funded with donations from the Town Heritage Fund and the Single Regeneration Budget.

Mr Coleman also presented Open College Network certificates to Karen Harvey, the centre's chairman, and trustee Joy Cosaitis, which recognised their efforts in completing a background course for trustees.

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