It is clear from the report to the Norfolk County Council Scrutiny Committee meeting on 13 November 2020 on the future of Holt Hall that this is a decision just to asset strip the building and raise capital receipts for the council.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Holt and Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Sarah Butikofer said: “The opportunity to fully utilise the site so that it can be run financially independently as a centre, as has happened in other parts of the country, has been completely lost. If this had been done here there would be no question about the finances.”
Sarah commented “Norfolk does not have the capacity to lose an outdoor learning site of this magnitude. Outdoor learning can impact powerfully upon a young person’s intellectual, physical, spiritual, social and moral development. That is why we are seeing so many remembering Holt Hall fondly and signing a petition to keep it.”
Sarah said “Britain and North Norfolk have a long tradition in the field of outdoor education, training and recreation. At outdoor centres children can learn about nature in a healthy, non competitive, environment with the opportunity to develop independence and self-reliance. We want our children to understand that learning occurs everywhere, in the classroom and outside. These centres are too important to lose so easily.”
Sarah added ”This becomes another decision where the County Council through its poorly planned budget cuts, whether it is through Children Centres closures, Music Service budget cuts or Outdoor Learning Service cuts and closures, all of which will directly affect the educational outcomes for Norfolk’s children.”