Wiltshire’s outdoor education centres will stay open, at least for the time being, and Liberal Democrat councillors claim it was a victory for common sense.
Wiltshire Council has now received bids for its two centres, and council Opposition Leader and Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr Ian Thorn said: “We fought hard to stop the behind-closed-doors decision to shut Braeside and Oxenwood. I am glad the ruling Conservative Cabinet listened to our call to delay closure and extend the deadline for ‘expressions of interest’ in the centres.
“If Wiltshire Council will not run them then, in the interests of our young people, they must be handed over to a not-for-profit group that will. They should not be sold to a private company to be run for profit.”
“Our position is clear. We do not want the outdoor centres of close. They should be run by a charitable or voluntary organisation and not by a private company.
Wiltshire Council announced it had received ‘expressions of interest’ in running the centres after a determined public fight to save them, and repeated interventions by Lib Dem councillors.
“I serve on the council’s Audit Committee, I know the cash pressures the council faces. But this decision must put the interests of current and future generations of our young people before the interests of companies who want to run these centres for profit. That is the path the Cabinet should go down,” ,” said Cllr Thorn.