Full council agrees to consider all issues on outdoor education at June cabinet
Petitioners attending full council this morning were thanked for their contribution to the debate on the future of outdoor education in Wiltshire.
Members listened to petitioners and agreed a motion that the issues raised would be taken into account when considering offers from alternative providers at the next cabinet meeting on 12 June.
A number of parties have sent expressions of interest in running Braeside and Oxenwood following last month's announcement that Wiltshire Council can no longer afford to run the centres.
This is due to the high costs required for repairs while vital funds are needed for frontline services, including protecting vulnerable children and providing sufficient school places while ensuring high standards in schools.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children Laura Mayes said: "This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as cabinet member. I fully support the benefits of outdoor education, however Wiltshire Council is not the right body to run the centres.
"Our budgets are tight and we need to spend our money wisely and fund those areas where it is most needed, including supporting our vulnerable children and investing in other education priorities. I'm also pleased there is already a wide range of facilities available which many of our schools already use.
"I welcome these expressions of interest and the motion agreed today to consider the issues raised at our meeting in June."
A number of interested parties have come forward looking at future possibilities at the site. The closure date for expressions of interest was 21 May to allow time for the proposals to be developed.
The motion agreed at full cabinet yesterday was as follows:
To thank petitioners for their contribution the debate;
To note the issues raised in the debate, and to ask Cabinetto take account of these issues when considering offers from alternativeproviders at their meeting;
That any decision taken by the cabinet should be open andtransparent, that social impacts should be considered equally with financialimpacts, and that the Cabinet use every best effort to ensure the two siteswill remain in use for outdoor education.
You can view the full council meeting in our webcast suite.