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Campaign to keep Grangetown play centre open

Councillors are due to meet with Cardiff Council’s director of sport, leisure and culture in an attempt to keep a threatened play centre open.

Councillor Chris Lomax

Grangetown Councillor Chris Lomax, who estimated that £100,000 a year is needed to keep the play centre open, confirmed all options are on the table ahead of a key meeting on Tuesday.

“People have to put something back in, we’re not in the position to pay for everything,” he said. “We will try to contact different companies, like Morrison’s, ASDA, Argos, see if we could get them to sponsor the play centre.”

Other options, including links with charities and staff reduction, will also be considered when the councillors will meet with Chris Hespe, director of sport, leisure and culture. “I think it is achievable,” he said. The move comes after locals criticised the Council’s plans to shut down the centre on March 31. 

Grangetown_Day_Centre1

At a meeting at the centre on Wednesday where local children blocked the road until the police arrived, locals pointed a finger at the level of salaries of the council’s directors. 

Mason Bennett, 18, who spent a lot of his childhood at the centre, said: “They took on eleven managers at £1.1m. How can they afford to do that and not keep a place like the adventure open for all the kids that are growing up? Just get them off the streets. Grangetown’s not the best place to be on the streets.”

After the meeting, Plaid Cymru South Chairman Luke Nicholas issued a statement which said: “Plaid Cymru have constantly raised  concerns about Cardiff Council’s decision to employ Senior Managers at a cost of £1.3m a year.

“Last year Cardiff Council decided to give a grant of £1.5m to Cardiff Yachting Regatta, which would have been enough to run all Cardiff Play Centres Schemes for two years. The council need to reconsider their spending priorities.”

Councillor Lomax has rejected the claims, saying the Council have cut down £2m in seniors’ salaries since Labour came into power. Grangetown’s three Labour councillors are expected to meet on Monday to decide further steps ahead of the meeting on Tuesday.

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