The Conservative cabinet this week refused to guarantee the future of Wiltshire’s two outdoor education centres beyond December.
While we are pleased to hear there have been four expressions of interest in the two centres and that they will remain open until December, it is disappointing that the Conservatives have failed to appreciate the need to secure their long-term futures. This means any school looking to book trips for the summer of 2019 have no certainty over their ability to do so.
“I’m genuinely saddened that the Conservative cabinet was not prepared to listen to reasoned argument. Each year all of the bookings for these centres and therefore all of their income comes in the first half the year. Guaranteeing that the centres would remain open until July 2019 should not have an adverse impact on Wiltshire Council’s finances. Indeed, it may well have resulted in additional income. It strikes me that this Conservative administration is determined to make these centres as unattractive and non-viable as possible in a determined effort to see them close permanently. Perhaps they have in mind a different future for the land they are on?” said Lib Dem councillor Jon Hubbard.