Last summer Loughton and Great Holm Parish took over the running of Great Holm community centre after they bought it for £1 from MK Council under the Council’s “asset transfer scheme”. The Parish have invested in the facility and it is looking great.
However, the pre-school in Great Holm have been given notice of a rent rise of over 100%, effective from 1st April 2019. The pre-school says the rent increase will cause them problems financially. The Parish says it still offers good value. It is true that the pre-school have reserves to fall back on but these are ear marked for children with special needs and other requirements. The pre-school can see that they need to make sure they are not spending more than they get in and are worried.
Councillor Zoe Nolan, Cabinet member for Children and Families and Vice Chair of the Parish Council, has quoted the decision by the Finance and Staffing Committee of the Parish Council and will propose at the monthly meeting on Monday 15th April that the new rent is reduced by 30% for six monthly payments in order to allow the pre-school to make the necessary changes and transition to the new higher rent.
Ben Nolan, Labour candidate for Loughton and Shenley, attended Great Holm pre school as a child, as did his brother, and he wants to see the pre-school continue to thrive. He is supporting the reduction in rent.
He says: “The Parish took over the running of the Great Holm community centre so that it could offer more use of this great facility to the local community, who are telling us how much they want to use it. I want to see our local groups like pre-school thrive. They need more time to make the changes to be able to pay the higher rents. I hope Parish Councillors will see the sense of this proposal which my Mum has suggested. We are also looking at what grants they can apply for. I loved this pre-school. I want to make sure it is still doing great things for the next generation of children in our area.”
Councillor Zoe Nolan concluded: “We are so lucky to have a pre-school like this on our doorstep. It is judged ‘good’ by Ofsted. The Parish needs to support local services like this. I hope the Parish Councillors will think again.”