STUDLEY Scouts have voiced fears over their future after the village’s parish council deferred a decision on the renewal of their scout hut lease.
The lease runs out in early 2023 and Scout leaders, who cater for more than 100 children four days a week, had been looking for a another 25 year lease on the premises.
This they say, would give them the confidence to further invest in the facilities.
The unit consists of six sections, two Beaver Colonies, two Cub Packs and two Scout Troops and such has been the growth in interest in the Scouts they also want to explore the possibility of taking on the lease of the land at the nearby but now disused ATC hut.
In a letter to councillors, Scout leader Karen Marshall said: “We avoid running sections during the weekends as this is when we like to head out camping, therefore we currently pack six meetings a week into four evenings and really need more time capacity as well as much more storage space for our trailer, camping equipment and so on.
“Already our two Cub Packs are at bursting point and as we are turning children away, we would be looking to open a third pack in the future.
“We would also welcome the return of Explorer Scouting (14 -18 years) to Studley Scout Hut, this is a district run section which we can’t currently host in our hut due to pressure of time slots available in the evenings.”
Matt Fox, chair of the Scouts’ executive committee, said: “We were told the parish council is currently doing an audit of its facilities and therefore no decision could be made.
“However the lease runs out in early 2023 and we would like to put in new flooring and sound proofing.
“Furthermore they didn’t give us a date for when their audit would be completed.
“We’ve already had new toilets installed and are prepared to spend thousands of pounds for the benefit of young people in this village but to do this we need a realistic lease.”
Councillor Colin Summers, the leader of Studley Parish Council, said the council was ‘100 per cent committed’ to supporting the local scout group and was carrying out a review of all of its assets.
He added that when this was completed it would consider all options one of which is the request regarding the lease on the scout hut.