Pressure is on to keep play centres open

Banner outside Riverside Play Centre

Cardiff Council could withdraw its proposal that would see the closure of six of the city’s play centres amid growing public pressure.
The cabinet yesterday heard a request, made by a Grangetown councillor, to take play centres out of its budget proposals for 2014/15, only days before the consultation phase ends.
Councillor Chris Lomax said: “We need to find another way to save money.
“The cabinet will come back with an answer next week,” he added.
The Council’s decision to revisit its proposals comes as petitions from several play centres across the city are piling up.
Cabinet member Ashley Govier reacted to a petition from Grangetown, saying: “We understand the feeling in the community. We are committed to doing what we can to find a solution that would give us enough time to find a
sustainable way of operating the play centre.”
In the meantime, Asda’s Cardiff  Bay store have reacted to reports that Councillor Lomax would seek their help.
Its Community Life Champion Vicky O’Rouke said: “We do not offer help with ongoing costs or sponsorships. We can apply to the Asda Foundation if money is raised.”
She added: “Both my children used their facilities. It’d be sad to see it go.”
The local IKEA store refused to comment and said the centre could apply for support through its nation-wide scheme.
In reaction to that, Councillor Lomax said: “We might turn over one stone and find a maggot, but we need to keep turning the stones over to find gold.
“We can’t close all these facilities, where are these kids going to go?”