A thriving Canvey Scout group with 100 members faces the axe because of budget cuts. Now the 5th Canvey Air Scout Group is desperately appealing for new premises, land, a cheap hall or help towards its rent.
On April 1, it will lose its 75 per cent Essex Comity Council subsidy for the £200 a month rent for St Katherine’s’ School hall, Hilton Road, Canvey. Group Scout leader Paul Varker was horrified there was no warning given before the subsidy was scrapped.
He said: “These cuts are not just going to affect us. Every Scout group and voluntary organisation will lose out. We have been offered some prefabricated buildings but we have nowhere to put them, so we are looking for a piece of land, if we cannot find a hall.”
Conservative county councillor David Rex, who sits on the county’s policy and resources committee, said: “I am not aware that we are taking anything away from anybody. I thought we were simply reducing grants. We have had to save £5.9m from somewhere so it has to be taken from across the board. I advise the group to speak to the community education officer at county to see if there is anyway they can help.”