Future of Forres Out of School Club is thrown back into doubt

The future of a facility that is considered as providing vital support for people working unsociable hours has been thrown into doubt once again.

Parents with children attending the Forres Out of School Club had thought they had obtained a reprieve from closure just weeks ago when councillors voted to continue funding the facility despite it losing around £16,000 a year.

An earlier decision to cease funding the club was reversed at the Children and Young People’s Service Committee.  The matter was referred to the Policy and Resources Committee on Tuesday with a recommendation that financial backing continues – however, councillors reject the proposal.

A passionate plea from Councillor Anne Skene that the local authority needed to retain the facility for the benefit of working families fell on deaf ears with the committee voting eight to three against with the issue now going to the next meeting of the Full Council.

Councillor Skene had said: “I fully understand the financial implications but we as a council have a social responsibility.”

However, the Convener of Moray Council, Councillor Stewart Cree, led opposition to retaining the facility, saying: “I don’t see how we can allow a facility to exist that’s always been a drain on cash.  We are in a situation where we have to be trimming costs.”

Plans to close the club, which has existed for 19 years, were first proposed in January 2012 but at that time councillors decided to keep funding in place in the expectation that losses were sparked mainly because of the closure of RAF Kinloss.

It was expected that the arrival of the Army and formation of Kinloss Barracks would change the fortunes of the club, which had been running at a deficit since 2006.  At the time it was expected that losses incurred by the club would be reduced to £2000.

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