Walsall Council have announced that its Outdoor activity centres in Aldridge and Bloxwich that provide activities and events for Walsall residents and local schools are set to be abandoned to save £100,000 per year.

This proposal will be discussed at next Wednesday’s (23rd October) cabinet meeting.

The Aldridge Airport Outdoor Centre and Sneyd Water Activities Centre in Bloxwich are set to close by March 2020 under the plans set out in the Officers report.

The two outdoor centres provide activities including canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, climbing, archery, archery and mountain biking.

Walsall Council could also be made to pay back £323,000 of National Lottery funding if the service ceases. The council received a grant of £1,076,000 to build the Aldridge Airport Outdoor centre in 2006.

Councillor Abdus Nazir, Walsall Labour’s Shadow Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure and Culture said:

“The termination of the Walsall Outdoor Pursuits Service and closing of respective centres in Aldridge and Bloxwich is in our opinion, a regressive step which will have a negative impact on our Borough and on our young people in particular. At this moment in time we need to be putting more money into youth services and creating more facilities for young people, not cutting them even further at a time when crimes and anti-social behaviour rates are increasing. In addition to this knife crime is on the increase and the closing of such facilities is detrimental to the fight against knife crime within our young population.”

“The fact that this service is being terminated contradicts the view of this Conservative administration that they are making our streets and neighbourhoods safer. Adequate youth services to keep children and young people occupied in positive activities are needed now more than ever and the fact that cuts are still taking place in such vital services demonstrates that Conservative austerity is still in full force.”

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