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The Easter school holidays are upon us, so much to look forward to - quieter commute to work and better weather perhaps. Things are not so calm in sleepy Hagley however where as Stirrer blogger David Nicholl reports, the battle of Haybridge Sports Centre continues.

This site has reported how Bromsgrove District council cut the funding for Haybridge Sports Centre in Hagley in 2006, yet villagers only found out this January. Despite over 500 signatures on the Downing Street web site, a public meeting and even the support of ex-Haybridge pupil, the BBC’s Adrian Chiles, the Council pulled the plug on funding last week.

So what happened next? Although I am optimistic that Haybridge School will eventually come up with a better plan than the Council ever did, the chaos continues.

At the public meeting, the Council did promise one thing - that there would be a Holiday club in the Easter holidays for the local children. Even this, they have managed to screw up on.

The new council-run club no longer has an OFSTED certificate, so if parents have children under the age of 9, they will only be able to come for a maximum of 3 hours in the morning, - hardly much use for working parents.

Also, the Council only want people to book by the week - again useless for parents who can’t afford a whole week or only work part-time.

In our case, our nearest family are 180 miles away in Pembrokeshire - so it was a choice of 720 miles of traveling to drop the kids off over Easter or cancelling clinics or messing up dozens of patients’ appointments.

Meanwhile formal complaints have been lodged with the Local Government Ombudsman over the cack-handed manner in which Bromsgrove Council have dealt with the whole issue. Amazingly Bromsgrove was runner-up in an award for its community work.

Council leader Roger Hollingworth, said: “I’m pleased to see our sports development team recognised for the work they do.

“It shows as a council we are improving not only in terms of value for money and efficiency but also providing access to good quality services.”

The people of Hagley remain a little more sceptical however.



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