Holiday Activities to be axed in Bingham

Holiday Activities to be axed in Bingham

The younger generation in Bingham are among more than 5,500 children who could have their school holiday activities cut after a council axed a contract with a charity which is now at risk of closure.

Newark and Sherwood Play Support Group is 12 months into a three year contract, jointly with Mansfield Play Forum,with Nottinghamshire County Council.

The council is ending the contract early to save money.

Jill Musson, the support group’s co-ordinator, said she was devastated at the impact it would have on children and families.

“We target areas of deprivation so it is poor families who are going to be hit.

“If you have three children and a six-week summer holiday to cover, having a free event you can go to makes a big difference.”

Jill Musson said that the charity would struggle to raise money through grants. It would have to cut its service, and could face closure.

She contiuned to say, “Free play is not on the council’s agenda at all as far as I’m aware.”

Heidi Bell, who lives in Bingham with her eight children, childminds three children and said the group was just starting to establish itself in Bingham.

“A lot of families need help. We have been told recently that Bingham is the best place in the country to bring up a family but there’s actually not a lot to do here.

“I have some sympathy with the council because there is no money and it is difficult to know what to cut but these children are our future.”

Newark and Sherwood Play Support Group said it was encouraged to tender for the contact by the council because money available through grant aid was diminishing.

When it was successful, they expanded its services into Rushcliffe, Bassetlawand parts of Gelding. The Mansfield forum covered other areas of the country.

John Peck, the committee chairman for children and young people’s services, said,”A decision was made at the policy committee to end the £140,000 contact on 1st October 2014, for open access play provision across the county.

“It is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, with the Government budget cuts meaning we have to save £154 million of the council’s overall budget over the next three years, we are having to look long and hard a re-prioritising our services across the whole council.

“Despite these huge proposed budget cuts we are committed to protecting the grant aid that each play forum receives from the council over the coming year.

“We have already had detailed conversations with both play forums about these proposals and will be in consultation with them up until the proposal is discussed at the full council meeting in February.”

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