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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Wrascals after school club to close?

March 15, 2007 3:43 PM
Wrascals after school and holiday club

Stephen Lloyd with parents and children at Wrascals after school club.

Concerned parents, whose children attend the Wrascals after school and holiday club at West Rise school, held a public meeting last week to express their anxieties at its threatened closure.

Diane Gurney, one of the parents whose children attend Wrsacals said: "It was a real shock for me to discover, out of the blue, that Wrascals would be closing. We held the public meeting to try and find out why the decision had been taken. Also we wanted to ask why the parents were not consulted about closing the club."

Another Langney parent Lynda Clarke added: "We all thought very highly of the team who ran Wrascals. To be honest, Wrascals without their manager Wendy Harris and her team would not be the Wrascals we all care so much about. This whole episode has been handled very badly. No warning. No consultation. Just a letter to say it would be closing. What do the powers that be think working parents are supposed to do with their children in this situation. Surely West Rise School had, at the least, a duty of care to ensure either a proper alternative was provided for the affected children or to find emergency funds from somewhere to keep Wrascals open?"

Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner Stephen Lloyd said: "When the parents first approached me and my colleagues Cllr Tory Tester and County Cllr Jon Harris for help a couple of weeks ago, we were appalled at their predicament. Whatever the funding problems that, apparently, Wrascals faced, surely it is only reasonable parents be consulted first. It was very moving to hear the parents address the public meeting about why Wrascals is so important to them and their children. Clearly as far as they are concerned Wendy Harris, the manager, and her team offered an outstanding service to many children in Langney and the surrounding area."

Stephen added: "I am pleased to say that representatives from East Sussex County Council, Extended School Services told the parents at the public meeting that emergency funds were available and that they hoped there may still be a future for Wrascals either at West Rise or another suitable site. It is a pity though that this source of funding was not properly explored before the letters were sent out by the schools. I pay tribute to the parents whose refusal to give in and accept the closure means there may still be a happy ending for them and their children."