Green councillors in one of the city’s most deprived inner city areas are calling for proposed cuts to a vital local community centre to be reversed.
St Pauls Learning and Family Centre on Grosvenor Road in St Pauls, faces the threat of closure under funding cuts included in the Mayor’s draft budget, put out to consultation today. Local councillors are asking for the cuts to be made elsewhere, or else for a years’ grace period to be given to the centre in which to assess alternative options. The centre is used for a range of activities from library and internet access, through to provision of essential classes such as ESOL. It is also home to the largest dark room in the South West.
Gus Hoyt, who sits on the Mayor’s Cabinet and who has and will continue to fight for this service said:
"St Pauls is one of the least well-off areas of the city. In a time of cuts, the Community Centre requires more provision not less. Essentially, this is an equalities issue. The very least that we’d expect is for a short-term investment to be made so that a successful Community Asset Transfer process can be made."
Rob Telford, ward councillor for Ashley of which St Pauls is a part said:
"The Coalition government’s assault on public services is having a real and tangible impact on our local community. St Pauls Learning & Family Centre needs to be given back to the community to run the service for the good of the community. We will continue to call for a reversal of the plans to cut its funding."
"Of particular concern are the crucial ESOL (English for Speakers Of Other Languages) courses that provide increased opportunities for many people in our community."
"The Green Party is committed to providing lifelong learning and employment opportunities at the heart of our local communities. The Coalition government seems to have other ideas."
More information on the Green Party’s education policies can be found at: http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ed#Lifelong