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Pressure mounts over outdoor activity centre

 
Created on 25/11/2017 @ 08:42
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Pressure is mounting to keep Staylittle Outdoor Pursuits Centre open for at least another year while rescue plans are formulated over its future.

Powys County Council plans to close the centre at Staylittle, near Llanidloes  as part of its ongoing savings.

But there has been outrage about the plans from throughout the region and further afield as former pupils and others who used the centre as children or parents say it is a vital part of education and ensuring young people take part in outdoor activities.

An online petition has already been launched and now a group of Liberal Democrat councillors have said they will be fighting the plans and urging the council to keep it open for at least 12 months.

It has also emerged that plans have been put forward by a charity and others to rescue the centre, but more time is needed.

Cllr David Selby says: “ I am both impressed and saddened by what I know of the wonderful Outdoor Centre at Staylittle.

"I am impressed by the modern and purpose built facilities in the beautiful Mid Wales scenery and saddened that Powys Council has not found a way to keep this centre open.

 “I am aware that there are firm bookings from schools, including Newtown schools, for all of next year which will be cancelled unless the centre is saved within the next few weeks.

"There are businesses and a newly formed charity interested in taking on the centre and providing it with a future.

"The alternative that the Powys Cabinet is offering at the moment is a mothballed building that will quickly fall into disrepair, a fragile local economy that will be effected by job losses and income reduction, and the loss of opportunity for our children to experience outdoor activities that they are unlikely now to be able to afford.”

He added: “I am angry to learn that the savings to the council next year will be almost nothing, because the closure costs will equal the budget saving. The savings are apparently long term ones, However the loss to our children will also be long term.

 “Cllr Gareth Morgan and myself will be urging the Powys Council Cabinet to delay any action on the closure for at least a year whilst a viable long term future is examined further and a new management structure is established.  This is the very least that our children disserve.”

 “I urge all local school governors, parents, and those interested in the long term future of our children to protest by signing the petition or writing to the Portfolio Holder (Cllr Rachel Powell) responsible for the decision asking her to keep the centre open."

 

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