Redbridge Council recommends closure of outdoor education centre

An education centre which has run for more than 50 years has been earmarked for closure.

Redbridge Council is proposing to shut Glasbury House in view of the £70million cuts it needs to make over the next three years.

The closure would save the council approximately £175,000 a year and would make eight permanent employees redundant.

Cllr Wes Streeting, deputy leader and cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to recommend the closure of Glasbury House.

“The financial pressure on the council over the next three years is enormous and we will have to think very carefully about how we use our resources.

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“Despite our best efforts, and the efforts of the previous coalition administration, the council can’t turn Glasbury into a financially sustainable operation.”

Glasbury House, based in a village between Hereford and Brecon, Wales, offers outdoor activities for children.

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It also has expedition opportunities for those working on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

If closed, the centre would honour bookings up until the end of July 2015.

Cllr Streeting added: “We have to seriously consider whether an outdoor education centre in Wales is really the best way to deliver value for money for local taxpayers, given that similar opportunities for our young people are available from other providers, many of which are closer to home.

“We hope to reinvest all of the money we make by selling Glasbury into improving facilities here in Redbridge. This will mean residents have the high-quality opportunities on their doorsteps and ensure council funding is used more sustainably in future years.”

It is estimated that the site could be sold for £1million. The proposals will be considered at the health, leisure and older people service committee meeting on November 3.

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