The petition calls on the Westminster Government to save outdoor centres

The petition calls on the Westminster Government to save outdoor centres

An online petition to the coalition Government has been started urging ministers to save outdoor education centres across the country.

The e-petition calls on the Government to stave off the imminent closure of many of the centres, which provide outdoor activities for schoolchildren.

The petition, started by Steve Tilling, says one in three local authority OECs face closure. The closures face the slashing of councils’ budgets by the Westminster Government as part of its austerity measures to cut the national debt.

The petition says: “Millions of young people may be denied a potentially life-inspiring experience at a time when health, physical activity and contact with nature are all declining.

“For some children from poorer and disadvantaged groups this will be the end of ‘a once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to share an overnight experience away from home and to visit places that they would not otherwise see.”

The petition calls on the Government to set up a transition fund to tide over the OECs to enable them to become self-sufficient, and to provide business training for staff at the centres.

“The sad fact is that closure need not happen in many cases; given some extra time many threatened centres could become self-sufficient. If centres close they may never reopen,” it adds.

At the time of writing, 1,385 names had been added to the online list.

Supporters of the petition can add their names on the Government’s e-petition website.

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