The extent of the Tory run County Council’s failure is shown in the report to the Cabinet meeting on 7 December 2020 on the future of Holt Hall. The Council has lost £270,000 over the last three years through its conservative running of the service.
Rather than reimagining the service and working to get more people and income into this valuable learning centre it intends to close it leaving up to 3,000 of Norfolk’s children with less outdoor learning facilities.
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 other centres in other parts of the country have done, has been completely lost. If this had happened here 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 was why we are seeing so many remembering Holt Hall fondly and are signing a petition to keep it.”
Sarah said, “This shows how much the council’s administration has just run out of ideas. Their view is that we can’t cope, let’s get rid of it and make some money. But once gone it won’t come back, it will cost much more to create a completely new facility. The losers out of this will be the children.”
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, will directly affect the educational outcomes for Norfolk’s children.”