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Parents and politicians vow to fight Jonathan Page centre closure

Families against the closure of the Jonathan Page Play Centre in Aylesbury - pictured is Gayle Willington with son Alex (4) and daughter Hannah (5) and Anders Christensen and his daughter Elenor (5) and councillors

Families against the closure of the Jonathan Page Play Centre in Aylesbury - pictured is Gayle Willington with son Alex (4) and daughter Hannah (5) and Anders Christensen and his daughter Elenor (5) and councillors

Parents and politicians have vowed to fight proposals to close the Jonathan Page Centre in Aylesbury.

The centre faces an uncertain future after Aylesbury Vale District Council’s cabinet voted to withdraw the after-school club’s £63,000 funding.

The decision came despite pleas of parents not to close the Meadowcroft-based centre, which is owned and run by the council.

Dad Anders Christensen said he had no other childcare alternatives for his five-year-old daughter Eleanor.

Mr Christensen, 41, from Buckingham Park, said: “It has been suggested to us that our daughter could attend dance or sports classes instead but that is just ridiculous.

“We are looking into other options but I don’t have any at the moment. I don’t think the people that make these decisions think about the wider consequences.

“They don’t seem to understand that they are messing with people’s lives.

“I know people who are in far worse positions than me, and they may only be left with the option of changing their hours.

“We were barely consulted on these proposals and we will continue to fight this tooth and nail.”

Politicians from the Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP parties have also vowed to fiercely contest the decision.

Lib Dem leader Steven Lambert strongly criticised the plans to withdraw the funding.

He said: “What the hell does the council think it is playing at?

“There is absolutely no rationale behind this decision.

“The council says it cannot afford to keep the centre going, yet spent loads of money on subsiding the theatre, which is, with all due respect, likely to only be used by middle-class people.

“It is the families who depend on this facility who will suffer the most if the councillors don’t step out of their own bubbles which they seem to live in and see sense.

“The centre should stay exactly where it is and we will fight until the bitter end in an effort to keep it where it is and keep it open.”

 

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