Consultation launches on plans to move preschool and open excluded pupils facility at youth centre
- Credit: Ruthba Amin
A public consultation has opened on proposals to transfer an excluded pupils facility to Loxford Youth Centre and move a preschool at the site.
The Recorder first reported on the Redbridge Council plans at the end of March, after being approached by a concerned employee of the on-site preschool.
A formal consultation has since been drawn up, seeking to move The Constance Bridgeman Centre Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) from its current site at the New City College Redbridge campus to the youth centre.
The consultation document - available to view on the council's website - confirms that the Loxford First Step Preschool would be served notice for its current home should the transfer go ahead.
Although the preschool's last day is proposed to be July 25, the council has suggested finding space for the facility in a possible extension to the pavilion building in Loxford Park.
The document states its intention to begin early years provision at a new site in time for the September term, though any works will be subject to planning permission.
The youth centre is proposed to be housed alongside the PRU.
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A transfer is sought because the fixed-term lease on the PRU's current site is set to run out on July 1 this year.
Therefore, the council needs to have a transfer completed in time for the beginning of the 2021/2022 academic year starting on September 1.
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A search for the PRU's new site began in the latter stages of 2020 after the college had served notice to terminate the current lease, with 15 alternative premises considered by Redbridge Council between that point and March this year.
Ultimately the authority determined the youth centre site as the best possible option due to its size, location and cost-effectiveness.
The PRU ordinarily provides places for 42 pupils aged 14-16, though this has temporarily dipped to 23 as a result of national coronavirus lockdowns.
Before details of the plans had been set out in the consultation document, employees at the preschool and parents of the 63 children currently enrolled during term time were visited by Ilford South MP Sam Tarry.
An online public consultation event will be held on Monday, May 10 at 6.30pm.
Residents have until Monday, May 17 to submit their views.
Information on the proposed transfer, alongside a link for the online consultation event, can be found at engagement.redbridge.gov.uk/education/cbc-relocation/