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Closing Staylittle will save £130k a year

 
Created on 09/11/2017 @ 08:10
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Thousands of local residents have signed a petition to try and stop Staylittle Outdoor Centre from closing.

Powys County Council said that closing its only outdoor education centre, near Llanidloes, before April next year will produce annual savings of more than £130,000.

But it has created a public backlash with nearly 4,500 people signing an online petition to save the centre which has serviced two generations of local people.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Rachel Powell said: “The council investigated a number of options that would have seen the centre remain open, including seeking alternative operators through a marketing exercise.

“Regrettably, there were no viable options that the cabinet could support and a decision was made to close the facility at the end of the financial year. The building will be moth-balled giving the council the opportunity to consider future possible uses.

“As a new cabinet hope that this will create new opportunities for all areas within the county council to explore an alternative or combined service for the Staylittle site. This would be the ideal solution.”

But Maggie Fitzpatrick-Reeves has started the petition after accusing the Council of “minimal and inaccurate market research that led to just a handful of bids”.

“Currently it is only open from March to October but with a business plan and changing to a full 12-month opening, Staylittle Outdoor Centre can become financially self-supporting and so ensuring its long term security,” she said.

“Although Staylittle Outdoor Centre is open to provide activities to all ages it is the children who make up the largest segment of service users.
“Adventurous activities are part of the national curriculum and should Staylittle Outdoor Centre be closed this would greatly reduce the options available for county schools.”

Powys County Council is facing difficult financial decisions as it bids to shave millions of its spending to meet tighter budgets over the next five years.

 

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