Today, Wednesday 6 February at 6pm, Calderdale Council Use of Resources Scrutiny Panel is to consider Calderdale Save Our Services’ request for a public consultation on the future of adult education in Halifax.
Adult learners who study at Horton House, Halifax’s Adult Education Centre, have been left in the dark about Calderdale Council’s decision to sell the Centre. And so far, the Council has no clear idea where it will relocate adult learning.
Calderdale Save Our Services (SOS), a group of trades unionists and members of the public who are working to defend jobs and services against privatisation and Government-enforced cuts, says the decision to “dispose of” and close Horton House was buried in the Halifax Town Centre Office Strategy Report last Summer.
Pete Keal, Secretary of Calderdale SOS, said:
“Horton House is a popular, well-used Adult Education Centre offering some 70 different courses each week. If Adult Learning in Halifax really has to be relocated, the new facilities must be at least as good as those at Horton House. And the decision-making process needs to be open, public and transparent and we hope that Calderdale Council’s Scrutiny Panels will support this.”
After hunting down information by e-mailing councillors, meeting with council officers and tabling questions to the Leader of the Council at both Council and Cabinet meetings, Calderdale SOS said it was astonished to learn the Director of Economy and Environment, together with one Cabinet member and some officers, is to have sole responsibility for deciding where adult learning will be relocated once Horton House is closed.
Calderdale SOS is urging Calderdale Council’s Scrutiny Panels to make sure that Cabinet makes its decision about the future of Adult Learning in Halifax in public, on the basis of:
- consultation with adult learners, and other partners
- an Equalities Impact Assessment.
- a proposal for a suitable town centre venue.