Mitcham residents have been left reeling after users of a "multi-cultural community hub" were locked out by Merton Council.

For the past seven years, community group Positive Network (PN) has operated out of the Taylor Road Day Centre, where more than a dozen not-for-profit groups offer activities and support to people.

But with 18 years left on its lease, the group has been kicked out, in what has been described as "a disgraceful decision."

"My mother attends Positive Network and she has done weekly for the last 7 years," centre user Vincent McFarlane told the Wimbledon Times.

"It is the only time when she can leave the house and meet up with other elders and talk, eat, exercise, pray and all the many other things that the devoted centre manager Grace can think of doing with them."

Grace Salmon helps run PN and showed the Wimbledon Times pictures of police and security at the site earlier this week.

She said when members of the various groups attempted to enter the building, they were turned away.

"They locked us out, brought in police and changed the locks," she said.

"All the old people were trying to get into the centre and police wouldn’t let them in."

A spokeswoman for Merton Council said they had taken possession of the day centre due to breaches of health and safety and fire safety regulations, noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour from lettings.

“The council has sought to work constructively with Positive Network and gave them an opportunity to comply, but unfortunately little was done, so the council was forced to act," she said. "The council brought Positive Network’s lease of the building to an end using a break clause.

“Positive Network were given the notice required by the break clause that they must vacate the property within six months, by 3 April. However, as they did not comply with the notice and leave the premises, the council has no alternative but to take possession of the building.”

Chairwoman of of PN, Francis Heath, confirmed these issues were raised to them, but questioned the validity of the claims.

"We’ve been leasing the Day Care Centre without incident for several years and have evidence that health and safety requirements are being met.

"If we didn’t meet the standards, the council would not agree to us providing a funeral reception to a local knife crime victim in two weeks time.

"The council has informed us that all groups must vacate the centre. It has not provided any support or provision to these groups, meaning organisations like the Asian Elders project have nowhere to go.”

The PN group has now said it plans to take the council to court to fight the decision.