Council claims only 81 children use Jonathan Page Centre, not 3,256, after ‘error’

The Jonathan Page Play Centre
The Jonathan Page Play Centre

The district council has apologised after publishing ‘misleading’ figures about the number of children attending the Jonathan Page Play Centre, which is under threat of closure.

Figures issued by Aylesbury Vale District Council in early December said the number of users of the after-school club had fallen from 4,927 in 2009/10 to 3,256 in 2012/13.

But AVDC now claims this was an error and that the 3,256 figure represents the total number of places booked on sessions during this period.

It says that in fact on average only 17 children have attended each after-school session at the centre in 2013/14 so far, with around 81 different children going during the whole period.

The council issued the revised figures today (Monday), more than a month after originally stating 3,256 children use the centre.

An AVDC spokesman said: “The figures actually represent the total number of places booked on after school sessions during those periods.

“A relatively small number of regular users will have booked repeatedly throughout the year, and will have accounted for a high proportion of the 3,256 places booked during that period.”

The council’s cabinet has proposed withdrawing the Meadowcroft centre’s £63,000 funding because it is underused.

Opposition politicians and families have vowed to fight the closure, which the council said could be avoided if alternative funding is found.