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Bid to save outdoor education centre gathers momentum as online petition grows
MORE than 500 people have signed a petition to save a popular outdoor education centre used by around 1,500 children and young people every year.
Last month, it was announced the Worcester-shire County Council-run Llanrug Outdoor Education Centre, in Snowdonia, would close after plans to hand over management to a private firm fell through.
An online petition, which has currently attracted 516 signatures, was launched in a last-ditch attempt to save the centre and its creator Becky Day – who works at Bishop Perowne College and volunteers at Eighth Worc-ester Inca Scout troop in Claines – said she was “overwhelmed” by the support it had received.
“The comments left on the petition speak for themselves,” she said. “It is such a great place, run by great staff, and would be such a great loss.
“The instructors are second to none – very knowledgeable, experienced and friendly, this is what makes the centre for me.”
Although the county council had been working on a deal to hand over management of the centre to outdoor education company Rock UK, talks fell through after an agreement could not be reached over pension arrangements for the facility’s 11 staff.
The petition has attracted the support of Worcester’s MP Robin Walker, who said he hoped all possibilities would be explored before making the decision to close the centre.
“If there’s a way of keeping it running it should be explored,” he said.
“But I do understand the pressure the county council is under and I understand they may not feel able to continue to run it as a council facility.”
Miss Day, who has been on a number of trips to the centre, said she had been in touch with Mr Walker personally and was pleased he had thrown his support behind the petition, but described the council’s response – that it was required to consider the financial savings that would be made by the closure – as “less promising”, she said.
“The closure would have a detrimental impact not only on the education of our children but the outdoor community as a whole,” she added.
Last month a county council spokesman told your Worcester News the petition would be considered on its own merits.
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