Closing the Community Learning Service Skills Hub was a “good decision”

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Campaigners said the closure of a number of disabled and adult learning programs in Grimsby was being treated “like a political issue” and that councilors were behaving as if they were “in a playground for the sake of it. children ”.

Last night, the North East Lincolnshire Council decided to pursue the decision to cut the community learning service after rejecting a Labor opposition motion to save the facility.

The service, which is based at the city’s Skills Hub, teaches between 400 and 700 people and a petition with 2,800 signatures has been submitted to city council in an attempt to save the center.

Tory council chief Philip Jackson said he felt “satisfied” that the last Labor administration “made the right decision” to shut down the facility.

“I’m just a worried parent of someone with autism who can’t speak for themselves”



Dick Appleton with his daughter Sophie outside Grimsby Town Hall after a motion to save the Community Learning Service

But, Dick Appleton, whose 45-year-old autistic daughter Sophie attends school, said the shutdown of the service was being treated as a “political issue.”

“You heard it here tonight with the amount of back bites, it was like being in a children’s playground,” he said.

“No one was ready to listen and this is the reason why the previous council was kicked out by the voters, because it turned out to be a council that did not listen.

“The request was ‘you show that you are listening advice’ and they are not.”

Mr Appleton described the service as the “best kept secret” in town and that his daughter received an education different from traditional educational institutions.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m just a worried parent of a person with autism who can’t speak for themselves and needs to find the quality alternative education they’ve received,” said Mr. Appleton.



The <a class=Community Learning Skills Hub on Freeman Street in Grimsby” content=”https://i2-prod.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/local-news/article1084320.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/hub.jpg”/>
The Community Learning Skills Hub on Freeman Street in Grimsby

The Skills Hub, which is based on Freeman Street in the city, is set to close a number of its authority programs at the end of the academic year.

The center teaches people with special education, mental or physical needs in GCSEs, professional skills and learning English as a second language.

Opposition union leader City Councilor Matthew Patrick called on the authority to end the shutdown and “keep an open mind” on the service.

He acknowledged that the decision to shut down the service was taken at the last labor council, but added that “new information has come to light” and urged the council to reconsider the decision.



Dick Appleton, Pat Appleton, Phil Booth and Grimsby MP Melanie Onn, pictured protesting outside Grimsby Town Hall over the planned closure of services at the Skills Hub
Dick Appleton, Pat Appleton, Phil Booth and Grimsby MP Melanie Onn, pictured protesting outside Grimsby Town Hall over the planned closure of services at the Skills Hub

“What the service offers our community is a second chance for those who might have a hard time getting one,” he said.

“All educational institutions aim to improve people’s lives, but in the case of community learning service, they are the unsung heroes. “

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But, Councilor John Fenty, cabinet member for Regeneration, Skills and Housing, said Labor was giving petitioners ‘false hope’ and the service was failing.

He added that learners would be “better served” at establishments elsewhere in Grimsby.

“I deeply care that no matter what decision is made, learners and those who need help the most get a good education,” he said.



16-year-old Laura Jasper’s petition led to the drafting of a motion and resulted in a final debate on the Skills Hub.

The board said the decision to shut down the service was “a complex one, given the many significant challenges the service has faced over the years.”

He added that the hub itself would remain open and used by some services, including the National Careers Service.


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