Redbridge Council accused of ‘failing’ children after voting to close Glasbury House
- Credit: Archant
A scathing attack has been launched on the council’s decision to close an outdoor education centre for children.
Redbridge Council’s cabinet voted in favour of closing Glasbury House – an activity centre in Hay-on-Wye, Wales – on Tuesday night in an bid to save money.
Cllr Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the Labour-led council and cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said he had looked “long and hard” at ways to continue subsidising the facility, which Redbridge has owned for more than 50 years.
But following the meeting, leader of Redbridge Conservatives Cllr Paul Canal said the authority could have kept Glasbury House open if more effort had been put in.
Cllr Canal said: “This is not about money, it is about a lack of desire to put our children first. Wes has failed our children.
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“We believe that more effort could have brought the subsidy down to zero.
“Cllr Streeting has chosen instead to do nothing and take the money by selling an asset we have owned for 50 years.
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“They could have kept Glasbury open. They chose not to.”
The closure will save the council £175,000 a year, and the building is expected to sell for around £1million.
But the decision will make eight permanent staff redudant.
Yesterday Cllr Streeting said: “This decision is no reflection on the work that the staff at Glasbury carry out or how much people love the centre.
“The simple facts are that the financial challenge we are facing as a council and the level of cuts we have to make are eye-watering.”
He said money raised from the sale would be reinvested into leisure facilities in the borough.
He added; “I’m confident schools will continue to access fantastic outdoor experiences outside the borough once the centre closes in summer next year.”
Bookings at the centre will be honoured until the end of July.