Greenwich Council could close Glyndon Adventure Play Centre in Plumstead if plans are approved.
According to a report before the Council’s Cabinet, the centre duplicates facilities a quarter of a mile away and closing the centre would save £95,673 a year. They state:
“Service provision can be improved to focus resources on sites where there are more users and to avoid duplication of provision. As such the proposals will have a limited impact om services however there may be a slightly longer journey for some people in accessing adventure play facilities.”
The facility is operated by Better and provides “both indoor and outdoor facilities. Activities include; Table Tennis, Football, Basketball as well as arts and crafts. The centre is free and provides a fun, safe environment for children to play, under the supervision of qualified, experienced play workers.”
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Plumstead is being hit hard by cuts. Town centre cleaning is being axed and dedicated staff to prevent flytipping and other issues are to be lost.
Yet there’s sources of income locally not being used to their full potential. The centre is located near a council-owned site where four new homes are proposed. More homes on site would provide greater income to invest locally and keep the centre open – either through an element of market sale or saving on ever higher costs of housing people in extremely expensive emergency accommodation. Costs in that area have increased from £4 million a year in 2014/15 to £13.1 million in 2018. In November 2019 another emergency £2.6 million was needed.
You may think given this urgent pressure that utilising council land would be an absolute priority. Yet instead of utilising land to its fullest (and no that doesn’t mean tower blocks but mid-rise in that location) the authority have opted for very few homes on a sizeable garage site. Decisions such as those do not exist in a silo; they impact widely on finances and across budgets.
They can keep waiting for years for central Government to act or grasp the nettle and do all they can now even within restrictions. Other authorities are showing good practice to learn from – at far better value than buying homes of the market at £400,000 a time.
Less homes built means lost revenue and more outlay via emergency accommodation. That means even further strain on council budgets – and cuts increase.
If approved, the centre will shut in February 2021.