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1st Molescroft Scout Group is facing a very real threat to their future.

November 16, 2018 4:26 PM
By Graham

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has given notice to both the Scouts and 399 (Beverley) Squadron Air Training Corps to leave their headquarters buildings, both of which are located near each other in the grounds of Longcroft Lower School. Council officials are saying that they must abandon our two buildings by the start of January 2020, as part of plans to redevelop the Longcroft Lower School site. The council are keen to clear the site to attract developers and intend demolishing the Scout Hut. The Scouts have occupied the site for nearly 50 years. The scout hut is owned by the 1st Molescroft Scout Group. They pay ground rent to the council for the use of the land, and pay for their own utilities. The building was put up by voluntary contributions from the Molescroft community in the seventies and generations of young people ever since have had their lives enriched by the work that has been done there. East Riding Council told the Scouts and the Air Cadets in a meeting this week that following the opening of a new school complex on the adjacent Longcroft Upper School site next autumn, water and electricity supplies to the two groups’ buildings will be cut off on 1st January 2020, and they are currently indicating that the buildings won’t be accessible to them after this date. As yet no alternative locations for our meetings have been identified for the groups’ young people to use. Although the Scouts understand and agree with the need for improvement to the buildings at the whole Longcroft School site, they are obviously disappointed about the lack of consideration and planning for the future. The Council has no plans to relocate the buildings and have indicated that Longcroft School is not keen to continue to accommodate them elsewhere on the site. Community space in this area and facilities for young people is in extremely short supply compared to other areas of the country. Early enquiries indicate that local schools and community halls wouldn’t be able to accommodate them. The preferred option is to identify both a new location and the use of a new building, ideally with the Council’s help, though this isn’t in any way guaranteed. If we have no meeting place, the group will fold, leaving 70 young people without the benefits that Scouting brings. Waiting lists for the other Scout groups in the district, just like Molescroft Scouts’ own, are lengthy, so the young people are unlikely to be able to be accommodated elsewhere in Scouting in the area. The building is also used for leader meetings and leader training within the area, so losing it will have a wider impact on Scouting. The Scouts have entered into discussions with the Council, as well as making contact with East Riding Councillor Denis Healy and Molescroft Parish Councillor David Boynton, both of whom have indicated their support for championing the cause, which they thank them for. They anticipate needing more help very soon, as they will need to move quickly given the timescales involved. Do you, or anyone you know, have skills or experience in the following areas: • planning processes • solicitor â€" especially in property or conveyancing • architect • surveyor • PR / media / marketing Can you think of other solutions for them? Do you know of land that they might be able to rent and relocate a building to? Do you know of vacant buildings? They will also need more general support, for example if they start a petition. Please send your thoughts, comments and suggestions by emailing Andrew Sharpe (Group Scout Leader) on 1stmolescroftgsl@gmail.com and Fi Walkley (Group Chairperson) on fionawalkley@hotmail.com