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Braeside and Oxenwood petition considered by Wiltshire Council ...

May 23, 2018 6:59 AM

... at its meeting on Tuesday May 22nd. A grand total of 15,823 people had signed the petition which said:

'On 29th March 2018, Wiltshire Council announced its decision to close Wiltshire's only two council run outdoor education centres at Braeside and Oxenwood. Both centres have provided invaluable experiences for thousands of children over many years and closing them is very shortsighted. Trips to centres like this give children from all backgrounds a taste of the countryside that they would not otherwise get. It nurtures a love of nature and creates lifelong memories and friendships. It provides a welcome break from classroom education and gives children practical skills to use in everyday life. In a world increasingly dominated by technology, centres such as this create future ambassadors of conservation and wildlife preservation and closure of these two invaluable centres must be stopped. There is a solution. The centres don't need to be Council run, but Wiltshire Council needs to hand over responsibility to interested parties e.g.via a free or low cost community asset transfer. The perception now is that Wiltshire Council doesn't want to do this. We need this to change. Help us us keep the pressure on. 15,000 people can't be wrong.'

The decision, which was one of the worst in WC history, was called in for consideration by the scrutiny committee. However the Conservatives used their majority to over-ride the opposition.

The administration has agreed to look again at the closure proposals.