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  1. #1
    CSSA and SAS Member marcush's Avatar
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    Little Ablington Campsite

    Saw this on the SSAGO facebook group, that they are going to close the campsite ... their site here

    Petition if you wish to sign it.

    Got me thinking of how many sites we loose or could loose, and if the bigger centres and campsites are meaning that the smaller ones will vanish.
    Marcus Humphrey


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  2. #2
    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
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    I'm not sure it's right to keep ownership of everything, all the while. In my county, the HQ is/has been sold. Some were up in arms but the building was expensive, underused and inefficient. We need to be more business like and decide what is benefitting the members best.

    That said, we should also seize opportunities. I know of sites offered adjacent land/water and knock down rates who declined and are now cash rich and land locked.
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

  3. #3
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    I have found that sometimes the people who oversee these things are often quite far removed from Scouting.

    We had a fabulous campsite in Newcastle which was closed 15-20 years ago. At the time there were several issues that required addressing - what was needed was a committee to put together a business plan to carry it out.

    In the case of this campsite we don't have any other information (perhaps someone here can help?) - presumably the site was losing money or being underused - why was this? Are there alternatives just up the road that people prefer to use, or is it simply that more groups are relying upon activities (even the more simple Scouting skills) being ran by our centres rather than running them in house.

    Barney

  4. #4
    Senior Member roger-uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcush View Post
    Saw this on the SSAGO facebook group, that they are going to close the campsite ... their site here

    Petition if you wish to sign it.

    Got me thinking of how many sites we loose or could loose, and if the bigger centres and campsites are meaning that the smaller ones will vanish.
    Why are they selling it?
    Roger Woods
    Cub Scout Leader, Pegasus Pack,
    1st Sawley (All Saints) , Long Eaton
    www.sawley-scouts.org.uk

    NSRA Air Rifle instructor
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  5. #5
    CSSA and SAS Member marcush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger-uk View Post
    Why are they selling it?
    Don't know, all the links are what I could find or saw.
    Marcus Humphrey


    HERE BE SCOUTS providing custom maps, visualisations and routing

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  6. #6
    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
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    The planning permission to renew the camp is here:http://plan.scambs.gov.uk/swiftlg/ap...pnID=S/0893/11
    It *looks* like the intention then was to build the bungalows to fund the new development.
    It *seems* as though the county have evaluated the options and decided it wasn't in the best interests?
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

  7. #7
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger-uk View Post
    Why are they selling it?
    Because the committee have agreed that it should be sold. And they have spent 13k on getting planning permission for houses (and 12k the year before).

    http://www.cambridgeshirescouts.org....gton-camp-site

    Obviously, we don't know all the details, I mean, our district site is about the same size, seven acres, and has a building, archery wall, climbing tower, a river down the side, so pretty similar, and we manage to make it work.

    Looking at the accounts, for 2011-12, it made a healthy surplus, and the year before that, but made a loss the year before. On the whole though, it doesn't look like it's a liability.

    http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/...111231_e_c.pdf

    Interesting snippets from the annual report:

    2010 "Due to external pressures the County’s application to obtain planning permission in order to redevelop a small
    part of the County’s Campsite at Little Abington was suspended whilst a further review was undertaken."

    2011 "Formal planning permission has been obtained in relation to the County's Campsite at Little Abington, but
    at the time of drafting this report it has not been taken forward. This decision was taken so as to enable
    interested parties to formulate their potential alternative structures for the Campsite."

    Once these places are gone, they're gone, very hard to replace them for sure.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  8. #8
    Senior Member roger-uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Because the committee have agreed that it should be sold. And they have spent 13k on getting planning permission for houses (and 12k the year before).

    http://www.cambridgeshirescouts.org....gton-camp-site

    Obviously, we don't know all the details, I mean, our district site is about the same size, seven acres, and has a building, archery wall, climbing tower, a river down the side, so pretty similar, and we manage to make it work.

    Looking at the accounts, for 2011-12, it made a healthy surplus, and the year before that, but made a loss the year before. On the whole though, it doesn't look like it's a liability.

    http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/...111231_e_c.pdf

    Interesting snippets from the annual report:

    2010 "Due to external pressures the County’s application to obtain planning permission in order to redevelop a small
    part of the County’s Campsite at Little Abington was suspended whilst a further review was undertaken."

    2011 "Formal planning permission has been obtained in relation to the County's Campsite at Little Abington, but
    at the time of drafting this report it has not been taken forward. This decision was taken so as to enable
    interested parties to formulate their potential alternative structures for the Campsite."

    Once these places are gone, they're gone, very hard to replace them for sure.

    Ian
    I agree Ian - we seem to be more and more going down the route of BIG is best.
    Roger Woods
    Cub Scout Leader, Pegasus Pack,
    1st Sawley (All Saints) , Long Eaton
    www.sawley-scouts.org.uk

    NSRA Air Rifle instructor
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    Radio amateur (G8XAN)

  9. #9
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger-uk View Post
    I agree Ian - we seem to be more and more going down the route of BIG is best.
    It's their county site, but is so small it's not really big enough for county events, CamJam for instance is at a local racecourse, but you wouldn't keep a campsite for the once every four years event anyway. There's plenty of people that like a smaller site, otherwise they'd have all gone under years ago.

    Scouts selling campsites is always going to be contentious, maybe it's only made a surplus over the last few years as they haven't spent much money on maintenance, as its future is in doubt. Maybe the building is an old I just don't know. All I know is there is usually an impressive fallout from these things, having been around when Walton Firs got sold by HQ - and loads of scouts raised money to save it - and then, to get grants, it was opened up to be not just a scout campsite. I'm sure there are many still around, though possibly not involved anymore, that hold a grudge due to campsite disagreements.

    Looking at the pictures on the website, maybe they know the buildings are coming to the end of their useful life, they look like prefabs or kit buildings, and the cost to replace them properly is seen to be too much - though if there's a determination to do it, it can be done.

    If they're going to put the money to good use to, say, buy a load of land closer to cambridge or something, then fine, but if it just ends up being frittered away in "supporting scouting" then I'm not so sure.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  10. #10
    CSSA and SAS Member marcush's Avatar
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    Ian Walton Firs is odd though, in that it is basically still a scout site, we do get reps on management committee.
    Marcus Humphrey


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  11. #11
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcush View Post
    Ian Walton Firs is odd though, in that it is basically still a scout site, we do get reps on management committee.
    You can't say it was exactly a smooth and trouble free transfer, that didn't upset anyone, though can you? And I suspect the same can be said for all the ones HQ sold. I'd imagine this was and is the same, seeing as they've been all set to build a couple of houses to fund x y z, then it all went back out to consultation, now they're selling the whole lot.

    Cheers,

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - World Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2016 - May 2017
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  12. #12
    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    We seem to be watering down smaller campsites and going towards the big 5. We have one of the majors near us (Youlbury) and we rarely use it as we have a former scout camp PACCAR that has seen much more investment, has better facilities, activities, freindlier staff and frankly is cheaper. We also use a great water based camp at Longridge. Our local site is braidwood and altough its small, it offers a different experience to the bigger sites. These sites are easy to get rid off, and nigh on impossible to get back. Has anyone heard of scouting opening a new camp site? With scouting membership now higher than ever before shouldnt we surely be opening more sites, and not dispensing with the 'jewels' we have.
    #

  13. #13
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    I think Bernwood makes a valid point - as numbers increase do we not need more facilities - also do we not want to be able to offer a wide variety of facilities.

    I'm sure there will be groups who meet in school or church halls who may not be able to do firelighting or pioneering for example as readily as other groups.

    Our lost site in Newcastle would have been ideal for my Explorers - in the summer we could have spent most of our meetings there with parents dropping them off. Our nearest site is around 15 mile away and the nearest one with a lot of facilities is Hawkhirst 50 mile away - fantastic sites but no good on a meeting night.

    Barney

  14. #14
    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    We need to make sure we have the right assets - there's no point in owning something that is under utilized or doesn't meet the needs of modern Scouting. Our district recently sold our Scout House which was an old shop and was only really used for storage, meetings and the district scout shop - all of which are now use local group HQs. Our district still own Pybus Campsite near Carlton in Cleveland which has been substantially improved which included the extension and full refurbishment of Warren Cottage which means it is now suitable for Beaver sleepovers.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
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    1st Ingleby Barwick (St Francis) Scout Group

    Ex DofE Helper (Beavers), 1st Egglescliffe (St John's) Scout Group



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  15. #15
    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    A few facts.

    Little Abington is the only county run campsite in Cambs.

    The only others in the County are a number of very much smaller group run sites and one district run site in St Ives which spends a significant part of the year flooded. Our neighbours in Herts have 7, Essex have 9 (I think).

    The County Exec have thus far not given any reasoning for the ultimate decision and have sent the same 6 sentence reply to everyone that I have spoken to that has written to them about it.

    Neither have the exec given any information on what they plan to do with the money they get for the sale.

    Make of all that what you will.

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