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Caia Park playground could close if council cut cash

Published date: 16 December 2013 |
Published by: Josh Boswell
Read more articles by Josh Boswell


 

A children’s adventure playground could close if the local authority withdraws financial support, one of the people behind it has warned.

The future of The Venture in Caia Park is under threat because Wrexham Council is planning a £50,000 funding cutback.

Co-founder Cllr Colin Powell says the charity may not survive to see its 36th year.

He said: “Unless they bump into a kind millionaire, they have no long term future – and that could be two weeks or three months.

“In 2009 the council cut 80 per cent of The Venture’s core funding within three months.

“If it’s reduced to nil, that puts a very serious question over whether they can continue.”

Cllr Powell, a Wrexham representative on the North Wales Police and Crime Panel, said when The Venture was first set up, Caia Park made up just seven per cent of the population of the policing area, but accounted for almost half of all juvenile crime.

He said: “The first year we started, the juvenile crime rate went down 28 per cent. In 2009 we achieved a nil juvenile crime rate.

“We’ve had remarkable success in reducing the number of children getting into trouble, and all of that would be lost.”

A Wrexham Council spokesman said: "A decision not to renew a contract with the Venture is part of overall budget cuts of £13m for 2014-15.

"A decision re:the budget will be taken in February."

Although The Venture’s total budget is £350,000, the council’s current £50,000 contribution pays for “core funding” such as heating, lighting and cleaning.

Karen Davies, deputy manager at The Venture, said: “It’s very difficult to get that funding from a lot of places because it’s not a very attractive thing to fund.

“For example, BBC Children in Need very generously gave us a grant which has helped us help the kids, but we can’t use that money for phone calls, heating or other core costs.

“If you don’t have money for those other things you are not going to run.”

Parents and children have been writing to their councillors in a desperate effort to save their playground.

Caia Park mum Nicola Griffiths said: “It has been so much more than just a playground, it’s where you meet and make friends, where you go to keep off the streets, to keep you safe and out of trouble by keeping you occupied.

“The people of Caia Park need The Venture to remain open for our children’s future because then we know our children can play and learn in safety.”

The Venture combines the adventure playground with a youth and early years centre employing 20 staff who run activities and courses for more than 700 children, young people and adults and give advice and support to parents.

It has won several awards for its services and passed its latest inspection with flying colours with inspectors failing to find a single area needing improvement.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: a cahill at 18:06 on 16 December 2013 Report

    Here we go again....looking forward to the multitude of Save The Venture posters littering the Caia Park area...the fact is that if it were to close Cllr Malcolm King being a resident of Denbighshire would no longer have the right to stand as a candidate for Wrexham Council....and Cllr Powell would be unable to tell kids to tell their parents if he is not elected then the Venture will close when it comes to the 2016 local elections

  2. Posted by: daisymay at 21:48 on 16 December 2013 Report

    Since you mention it Cahill, isn't it strange that Councillor Kings name wasn't mentioned at all in the article. Doesn't he care any more?

  3. Posted by: touchwood at 00:00 on 17 December 2013 Report

    there are lots of cuts in wrexham so go on lets see if the council will cut Councillor Kings and co i for one don't thing so if they do it will be good for wrexham and better for the people of Caia park with all the money hes getting so do the job Councillors get red of him do it for the people cut his job like hes cut peoples jobs

  4. Posted by: Chelle64 at 14:06 on 17 December 2013 Report

    Well I for one think you are all stuck up good for nothing's. All you thinking about is who gets what money because you are all money grabbing (those who have left comments) not one of you are thinking about the future of our children/young people not one of you are thinking about how much the venture and other organisations like that have helped guide children and young people,

  5. Posted by: Chelle64 at 14:08 on 17 December 2013 Report

    Well I for one think you are all stuck up good for nothing's. All you thinking about is who gets what money because you are all money grabbing (those who have left comments) not one of you are thinking about the future of our children/young people not one of you are thinking about how much the venture and other organisations like that have helped guide children and young people,

  6. Posted by: Chelle64 at 14:11 on 17 December 2013 Report

    for them to speak up for themselves and enjoy their childhood while it lasts, not one of you are thinking about the effects it would have on our communities with the local children having nowhere too go the juvenile crime rates will go back up. For 35 years the venture has been an outstanding place in our community. I for one know Malcolm King would never even think about giving up on the venture, LONG LIVE THE VENTURE!!!!!

  7. Posted by: a cahill at 17:10 on 17 December 2013 Report

    Daisymay...as lead member for finance on the present WCBC Cllr King can't comment on an issue that he has an interest in so his fellow Cllr Powell does it for him...but he also has a self interest in the Venture being manager of the little Venture near Queensway...the most objectionable part of this Bi-Annual hysterical uproar about the Venture is the use of children as political footballs in order for these two men to continue in their second jobs

  8. Posted by: Chelle64 at 15:13 on 18 December 2013 Report

    You have obviously got to be part of malcolm and colins opposition cahill.. wish you politicians would remove your heads out your backsides and look at the bigger picture instead of trying too get one up over eachother.

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