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Thread: Colomendy

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Exclamation Colomendy

    The Colomendy Centre in North Wales enjoyed by generations of youngsters is set to receive a £10m makeover. (Although this is old news now, last week I was a bit concerned that there was such a tight deadline for councillors to approve the makeover, that it would not get done.)

    Councillors will be asked today (Friday) to approve plans to redevelop the centre, adding new outdoor activities.


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    Who knows if they will or won't?

    One thing is for sure, I know that u went to Colomendy! Tell us all about it!
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    Its been approved

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    I went back today (4th Sept 2005) - still looks the same a bit of activity, cutting down trees etc and people camping at the top camp - how dare they!
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    A.D.Williams
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    Good pictures, Kev.

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    Cheers, I'll get the others I took today up as soon as I can
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    Fears for the future of Colomendy

    THE Bishop of Liverpool is at the centre of a row which is threatening to derail the £10m transformation of the Colomendy outdoor centre.
    The north Wales site is treasured by thousands of Liverpool residents who have visited it.
    The ageing centre is desperately in need of refurbishment and Liverpool council has sealed a deal with a private company to upgrade it.
    But the bishop, the Right Reverend James Jones, believes the centre should instead by run by a charitable trust and has offered his help to set one up.

    Delays - I hope not, why does this always happen these days?

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    I got the other pictures up and while I was at it, I decided to set up the website again:

    www.colomendy.net

    I used to own colomendy.com but some company re-registered it and won't let me have it back!
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    I never did go to Colomendy but I've heard a lot about it.

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    Good things I hope
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Yes, all good.

    I've only ever seen pics of Colomendy, never actually been there.
    We've been for walks around the Loggerheads area .. isn't it over the way from there ?
    My son went on a school trip to a place called Kingswood. They used that place while Colomendy was undergoing some refurb. Have you heard of Kingswood ?

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    Its just over the road from Loggerheads
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    Default Colomendy, Schools asked to bail it out

    SCHOOLS in Liverpool are being told to hand over thousands of pounds to fund Colomendy outdoor education centre.

    The North Wales centre, which has been loved by generations of Liverpool schoolchildren, is already losing around £1m annually and needs £500,000 a year to remain in operation.

    Now Liverpool council has given city schools two options - to pay thousands of pounds from their budgets towards its upkeep, or pay increased costs to use the centre.

    More

    Once again someone felt the need to attempt to close something, anything just close it and save money.

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    This concerns me a great deal Will scousers have anything left by 2008?
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    Default £10 million facelift for Colomendy

    A new life for Colomendy

    Liverpool's North Wales school camp Colomendy is set for a £10 million facelift transforming it into an Outdoor Activities Centre.

    Liverpool schoolchildren’s Welsh retreat, Colomendy is to change wih a £10million redevelopment. The prisoner of war style cabins of Colomendy that have played host to over 350,000 Liverpool schoolchildren are to become part of a new Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

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    (Kev will be chuffed)
    Ermine tastes much the same as sackcloth when there's nothing left to eat.

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    Chuffed to bits SM. There's a weird feeling I've got over the future of Colomendy and its not a good one unfortunately Anyway, check out the best Colomendy site on the net: Here
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    Only liked Canoeing there all the rest sucked.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev
    There's a weird feeling I've got over the future of Colomendy and its not a good one unfortunately
    I think I know what you mean, Kev...
    Under the deal struck by the council, places for Liverpool children will be protected for 30 years, with increased bed spaces for non-Liverpool schoolchildren
    Does this mean the Council are 'giving it away' in return for thirty years of 'discounts'? After thirty years, what then? Is it a case of 'gifting it' to private enterprise in exchange for a few dubious 'discounts'.

    Time, no doubt, will tell.
    Ermine tastes much the same as sackcloth when there's nothing left to eat.

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    LIVERPOOL children will be priced out of trips to Colomendy when the centre is handed over to the private sector, it was claimed last night.

    Weekend breaks, currently costing around £23, will rocket to more than £90 in 2008, community worker Alan Grace claimed.

    His fears were echoed by Labour leader Cllr Joe Anderson who said: "The council is virtually selling off one of the jewels in its crown. The poorest kids of Liverpool will in future only have the leftovers at Colomendy, with the peak period hogged by children of the wealthy.

    "The decision by the council to adopt a D1ckensian approach to the future of Colomendy will come back to haunt them."

    But the ruling Liberal Democrat administration insist the long-term future of the outdoor education centre used by generations of Liverpool schoolchildren will be secured.

    The city council's decisionmaking executive board will on Friday agree to a long-term lease to private operator Kingswood for the centre in North Wales.

    Executive member for children's services Cllr Paul Clein insisted the leasing agreement represents a good deal for Colomendy which at one time was threatened with closure because of £1m a year losses.

    He said the deal will ensure that Liverpool children can continue to have reduced prices for off-peak visits to the centre.

    Mr Grace, who has taken 10,000 city children from the poorest districts to Colomendy, is demanding to know why the city council spent almost £500,000 in one year in consultants' fees in respect of the centre, when the cash could have been spent to safeguard the centre.

    Last night he said: "It will be a bleak day for Liverpool when the city relinquishes control of Colomendy. I have no doubt that within two years many city youngsters will not be able to afford to visit the centre. I have spoken to Kingswood and it is clear that by 2008 their brochure prices will apply to Colomendy. That could mean children having to pay up to £99, a sum out of the reach of many families."

    A report on the future of Colomendy is expected to be published ahead of Friday's meeting of the executive board.

    It will recommend that Kingswood, the East Anglia outdoor activity specialists, who have been managing Colomendy for the past year, should be handed a long-term lease.

    The deal will unleash a multi-million pound improvement programme at Colomendy.

    The agreement will mean reduced prices for Liverpool children visiting Colomendy during off-peak periods. But they will have to pay the full prices at other times.

    Cllr Clein said: "We are not selling off Colomendy, but leasing it to Kingswood. There has been extensive consultation about the future of Colomendy going back some years, and I am more than happy with the deal that has been brokered. There was an attempt to set up a charitable trust to run the centre, but unfortunately it was a non-starter.

    "Colomendy now has to compete in a market that was simply not there 10 years ago. The discount for Liverpool children, from both schools and voluntary groups, will be preserved."

    Cllr Anderson said: "We are totally opposed, and when we gain control of the council we will do what we can to undo it. Colomendy is dear to the hearts of generations of people. What we are seeing is a private company, with a profit motive taking over, with our children reduced to taking the leftovers once the better off have creamed off the peak-period prices."

    source....
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    Whilst I am angry at some of the issues raised at the future of Colomendy, these days going to Colomendy isn't the same as it was 20+ years ago when it was your only escape into the countryside. Most children and their families have holidays to Florida so there are many more 'avenues' open to todays parents children from poorer backgrounds.

    When I went to Colomendy, it was my first proper time away from my mum and dad, I'd never been away before and loved the Colomendy experience the good and the bad. We never had a trip abroad 'till I was 15 years old.
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

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    THE private leisure company set to take over Liverpool's Colomendy education centre will be handed 200 hectares in a Welsh valley rent-free for seven years, it was revealed last night.

    After that, the company, Kingswood, will only have to pay £50,000 a year rent to the city council for the balance of a 30-year lease.

    Last night, Labour's Children's Services spokeswoman, Cllr Jane Corbett, pledged to fight a deal which will see the city council lose control of Colomendy just a year from its 50th anniversary.

    The city council's decisionmaking executive board will meet today to discuss a secret report on the future of Colomendy.

    Cllr Corbett and her Labour colleagues are to force the issue to be referred to a meeting of a council select committee in a fortnight.

    But they accept that, unless there is a change of mind by the ruling Liberal Democrats, the deal with new operators, Kingswood, will be signed within weeks.

    What has angered Cllr Corbett is a deal that will mean the poorest children of Liverpool being offered cut-price places, but only during off-peak periods.

    "What message are we saying about children in one of the most deprived areas of Europe being restricted to wet weekends in the middle of November, when the rich kids from all over the country can go there when the sun shines. I am disgusted at this deal."

    The Lib-Dems say more than £1m has been spent transforming Colomendy Outdoor Pursuits Centre, in North Wales, into one of the country's best adventure playgrounds.

    The new-look complex, owned by Liverpool City Council, now features a massive new zip wire, climbing towers with scramble nets, high and low rope adventure activities, abseiling and an underground cave complex in the woods. A lake has also been created for water activities such as sailing, canoeing and rafting.

    Cllr Paul Clein, executive member for children's services, said: "Ask any child who has been to Colomendy what they thought of the place and they'd tell you it was the experience of a lifetime.

    "However, the site had seen better days and schools have been voting with their feet and starting to use other outdoor centres. It has been badly in need of major investment to make it more attractive to the modern needs of today's youngsters.

    "The city council is committed to providing a modern, state-of-the-art outdoor education centre at Colomendy, fit for the 21st century - and that is what we are now delivering."

    Tomorrow, the executive board is set to be recommended to enter into a 30-year lease agreement with preferred operator Kingswood.

    Providing it is approved, the firm will invest millions of pounds of their own cash upgrading the accommodation and learning facilities at the site, near Mold.

    They will also begin a massive marketing drive to encourage schools to use the new look centre, with substantial discounts offered to schools in Liverpool during the off-peak season.

    Stuart Smith, interim executive director for children's services, said: "Our aim is to transform Colomendy into one of Europe's premier outdoor activity centres.

    "Modern residential and adventure facilities befitting the 21st Century will provide our children with an opportunity to develop as self-aware, confident, healthy youngsters in a safe and secure environment."

    The centre, at Loggerheads, near Mold, was planned and built by the National Camps Corporation for children evacuated from their homes in Liverpool during World War II. It was bought by the city council in 1957, and since then more than 350,000 youngsters have used the centre.

    However, the council insists, buildings, services and accommodation badly need updating and in recent years it had been losing £1m a year.

    The phase of work which has been completed has been funded by £780,000 of National Lottery funding money and a £280,000 contribution from the city council.

    Kingswood has outdoor pursuits centres across the country. source...

    It all brings a tear to my eye
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev
    Whilst I am angry at some of the issues raised at the future of Colomendy, these days going to Colomendy isn't the same as it was 20+ years ago when it was your only escape into the countryside. Most children and their families have holidays to Florida so there are many more 'avenues' open to todays parents children from poorer backgrounds.

    When I went to Colomendy, it was my first proper time away from my mum and dad, I'd never been away before and loved the Colomendy experience the good and the bad. We never had a trip abroad 'till I was 15 years old.
    My school never went to Colemendy, so this place is alien to me. We went to the Isle of Man camping in tents. My mother and father never ever went aboard, if fact we never ever had a holiday. None of us did. The only thing we had was, not every year, camping in the Isle of Man - I only went once and loved it. Some of the local people would volunteer to go and do the cooking, camp prepartation, etc. A local truck company would take our bags on the open back of a 1930s truck to the ferry for us for free, while the school went on the overhead to the Landing Stage. When I went we were on an old, 1930s, green rented Corpy bus - very flash indeed. I think the Overhead was better.

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    Default £1m transformation of Colomendy centre

    £1m transformation of Colomendy centre

    A firm hopes to clinch a deal for a council-owned outdoor pursuit centre.

    A MAJOR £1m transformation of Liverpool's Colomendy education centre was unveiled yesterday by the private leisure company that wants to make it the "best in Europe" by 2009.

    Already, 75 Liverpool schools have signed up to visit the 130-acre site, after adventure facilities were added, including Wales's longest "zip wire", and Europe's "most realistic" artificial cave.

    A new climbing zone is so impressive that the Army has revealed it wants to sign up to train new recruits on what it says is the best facility of its kind outside Catterick military barracks.

    There is also a picturesque new lake for canoeing, sailing and rafting, an archery zone, and a six-pond, great-crested newt reserve in the woodland behind the centre's "top camp" dormitories.

    The largest of two new zip wires runs for 120 metres over an 80-metre drop, offering exhilarating views of the Denbighshire countryside, including most visitors' favoured hike, Moel Famau.

    Behind it is a 40-foot high climbing wall fixed to a tower, at the top of which is a rope bridge that children are clipped onto with a harness before crossing over a small ravine.

    Farther into the woods is another series of five-sided wooden towers equipped with climbing walls and abseiling ropes designed to build team work and communication skills.

    More adventurous children can be clipped by a harness to a huge 'aerial trek' where they must navigate a quadrangle of scramble nets and obstacles, while dangling 40ft up.

    Another series of adrenaline-inducing contraptions includes the 'traverse swing', where children are hoisted 40ft in the air from the waist and launched into a 180-degree semi-circular 'flight'.

    Below lies a new 40-metre long artificial caving complex complete with giant fake 'stalagmites' and 'stalactites' to echo natural features protruding from the floor and ceiling.

    The cave, which is entirely made of concrete, allows youngsters to learn about underground geology and re-enact rescue missions, without the risk of flooding or getting lost.

    The changes are the first phase of works which private company Kingswood wants to continue if it wins a contentious £50,000 a year lease to operate Colomendy for the next 30 years.

    The company, which already runs nine outdoor pursuits centres in the UK and one in France, has pledged to spend a further £10m redeveloping the site over the next three years.

    That will include demolishing the entire lower camp, building 14 new log cabin dormitories at top camp, refurbishing all kitchen and classroom facilities - and at last, adding indoor toilets.

    The company says there is also potential to build a heritage centre on site and re-open Colomendy farm, which used to supply the surrounding area with milk but now lies derelict.

    The deal will secure the future for the centre, which has hosted 350,000 Liverpool youngsters since it started taking evacuees from the city in 1939.

    It will save 28 jobs and create 100 more for adventure instructors, site supervisors, administrators and catering staff.

    It will also increase the centre's capacity from just under 400 to 600 beds, increasing the annual number of nights individual beds are filled each year from 30,000 to 70,000.

    Kingswood will also take over Liverpool's £1m a year upkeep costs for the centre, under the deal which the council says is the only option to save Colomendy from closure.

    But the plan, to be debated behind in private at the Liverpool's executive board meeting today, and expected to be signed in weeks, is not without its critics.

    The city's Labour group is heavily opposed and has pledged to force the issue to be heard by a council select committee in a fortnight.

    They are concerned Liverpool's most disadvantaged children, who until now paid £23 a place, will be priced out of the market when Kingswood introduces its commercial rates of up to £90.

    Labour says the deal means the poorest children will only be offered cut-price places during off peak periods, and only richer children will be able to afford the coveted summer weeks on site.

    But the company is pledging to provide £3m in subsidies which the council has agreed to offer a 50% discount to the 40% of Liverpool children who are eligible for free school meals.

    And they say the deal includes a guarantee that Liverpool schools will continue to be offered first option on places before the facility is opened up to the external market, each year.

    Ken McCondless, Liverpool council's project manager for Colomendy, worked for four years to secure a deal to save the centre.

    Walking around the site yesterday he contemplated the future of the facility if the deal was not approved.

    He said: "I fear for the 28 jobs here. There is no quick fix for Colomendy. We have already tried two public private partnerships that have failed, and this really is our last option."

    Last year 24 primary schools paid commercial rates to use Kingswood centres in the Lake District, Staffordshire and Denbigh, with others opting for the company's French centre in Dieppe.

    A total 37 Liverpool schools used Colomendy this year - none of which booked in advance.

    But since the new brochures came out Kingswood says 75 of Liverpool's primary schools have already signed up for the next academic year, starting in September.

    MR McCONDLESS said: "We carried out a survey of all the Liverpool schools and what they thought was lacking was good quality modern accommodation, and more on-site activities.

    "This site was fine in the 1950s and 1960s, but you can't expect kids today to use outdoor toilets when there are so many other places with more modern facilities around."

    He added: "We are very conscious that we don't want to price disadvantaged kids out of the market, and that is why we have worked hard to negotiate the subsidy."

    The £1.08m spent by Kingswood so far includes a £780,000 Big Lottery grant, awarded after several failed attempts to secure English funding for a facility over the Welsh border.

    Now Mervyn Turner, Educational Development Manager for the operator, says the company hopes to make Colomendy its flagship centre.

    He said: "It's a fantastic site, unrivalled in terms of its location and its size, and the redevelopment so far is awesome, the difference is immense.

    "We want it to be our flagship centre within the next few years."

    He admitted Kingswood needed to market peak season places at the company's highest prices, to fund the refurbishment and enable lower prices off peak.

    But he reiterated the company's commitment to Liverpool - although he could not guarantee places would be kept for the city's children, unless schools booked well in advance.

    He said: "We do understand people's concerns that poorer families will be disenfranchised, but we have pledged to do our utmost to provide the best quality experience to the children of Liverpool.

    "We have written a guarantee into our 30-year lease that Liverpool schools will be offered first option, and we are providing a £3m subsidy to the council and it is up to them how they spend it."

    Testing out the new climbing area yesterday was a party of Sheikhs invited by the army as part of a major ethnic minority recruitment drive.

    Luther Magliore, community liaison officer for Army recruitment in the North-west, said: "These are certainly the best facilities I've seen, probably outside our own para training centre in Catterick."

    "What they've created is fantastic because it's all in one place. "We'd like eventually, if at all possible, to find a way to bring people here regularly."

    It could be a sign of the future as Kingswood is keen to look into the option of expanding use of Colomendy for adult groups if it needs to fill spaces - although the idea of an on-site hotel has been ruled out. Liverpool's executive member for education last night put his full weight behind the deal.

    Cllr Paul Clein said: "Colomendy never was exclusively for Liverpool schools - it always had bookings from outside, although the proportion of these has declined in recent years due to better facilities being available elsewhere albeit at a higher price.

    "Kingswood's profit margin is not particularly high given the several millions of investment they are incorporating into the site and they will have to finance from their own resources and we have driven a hard bargain with them."

    "Twenty-four Liverpool primary schools, including mostly primaries from inner-city areas, used Kingswood environmental education facilities last year in preference to Colomendy even though the cost was higher, compared with 37 Liverpool primary schools who used Colomendy.

    "This is out of a total of about 150, a few of which are infant schools only and would be unlikely therefore to go."

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    Default Should Colomendy be run by a private firm?

    Should Colomendy be run by a private firm?

    COLOMENDY, the outdoor education centre in Wales, visited by over 300,000 Liverpool children, is to be leased to a private operator.

    The city council's ruling Liberal Democrats insist the centre, owned by Liverpool since 1957, is not being sold off, but handed to Kingswood who will operate it for 30 years.

    Opposition councillors say that is playing with words because the city council will, effectively, lose control of Colomendy until 2036.

    Kingswood plans to invest millions to improve the facilities at Colomendy, money the city council cannot afford.

    The price for that though, is that Colomendy will open its doors to visitors from all over the country.

    Liverpool council insists the deal it has struck with Kingswood will ensure that children from the city can enjoy a 50% discount on 43 weeks of the year. However, no pricing structure has yet been published so it is not known what fees will be on a week-by-week basis.

    Colomendy is dear to the hearts of generations of Liverpool people who, as children, headed to Loggerheads to swap the backdrop of a large industrial city for a Welsh Valley.

    Whether the Kingswood lease deal is the only way of saving Colomendy from closure has split opinion.

    There is no doubt that in the hands of Kingswood it will survive, and possibly prosper, but some may wonder whether the price of Liverpool relinquishing something very special is too high to pay.

    The council's Executive Board has agreed to the lease with Kingswood, but the decision in the coming weeks faces scrutiny by a committee of councillors.

    Even so, it is hard to see, at this stage, the deal with Kingswood being blocked by the committee.

    That being the case, the eyes of the critics will focus on Colomendy to ensure the most impoverished children of Liverpool are never forgotten.

    YES SAYS Paul Clein, Lib-Dem executive member for children's services

    COLOMENDY holds a special place in the hearts of people in Liverpool, but, in recent years, the outdoor education centre has become less and less popular because there are better quality alternatives available, all privately operated.

    Outdoor toilets and 70-year-old wooden huts do not meet the requirements of 21st century children.

    Consequently, many schools have been voting with their feet. Three out of four Liverpool schools which now use such centres do not choose Colomendy.

    We have been working since 1998 to come up with a viable way of securing the long-term future of the site and injecting the millions of pounds needed to upgrade it. The council explored alternatives and concluded outside specialist expertise was needed.

    We appointed Kingswood because they have an excellent track record and an ambition to make it the best site in Europe.

    Last year, 24 Liverpool primary schools, many from the poorest areas of Liverpool, used other Kingswood facilities and paid top price to do so. When Kingswood manages Colomendy, Liverpool schools will have first refusal on places and enjoy substantial discounts during 43 weeks of the year for less well off children visiting with schools or voluntary groups.

    I will be asking my Liberal Democrat colleagues to match Kingswood's subsidy in next year's budget to ensure that even more children benefit. Crucially, the council will still own Colomendy.

    Regardless of who takes over, Colomendy still needs multi-million pound investment.

    Kingswood will be ploughing in its own cash, and will reduce the annual council subsidy from £1m to zero. Labour have continually tried to scupper any option other than giving Colomendy away to a charitable trust, something we rejected five years ago.

    Their preferred trust's prospectus consisted of only £25,000 provisionally promised, rather than the millions needed.

    As Colomendy is mostly a site of special scientific interest, located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the planning constraints are fiendishly complex.

    We have invested substantially in ensuring that all necessary planning permissions are in place to complete the transformation. There has already been a £1.1m initial investment providing top-quality adventure facilities, an artificial cave complex and a new lake for water-based activities.

    Liverpool schools still have considerable loyalty to Colomendy, but are only willing to come if it is modernised.

    NO SAYS Jane Corbett, Labour education spokeswoman

    WHO would have thought it would come to this?

    Liverpool children, from some of the poorest families in the city, treated as second-class citizens by their own council. Unable to afford the peak periods at Colomendy, relegated to wet weekends in November.

    So is Joe Cowley, ex-Colomendy pupil, correct when he says that "this city may be Capital of Culture but it has now lost its soul?"

    Colomendy is owned by the city. The council can set the rules and ensure that our children are free from discrimination.

    But on Friday, the Executive Board voted to, in effect, privatise Colomendy for the next 30 years and remove that protection for our children.

    So what has changed? What has happened to the "unique public private arrangement with Kingswood" that would have meant "Liverpool children guaranteed 210 beds" (out of 500) "throughout the year at discounted prices"? The arrangement was the council would provide the money needed to refurbish Colomendy, with the private company, Kingswood, operating the site.

    Over the years, the council has allowed Colomendy to run down. Consultants estimate at least £10m is now needed to bring it up to standard. But the council is no longer willing to borrow the £10m. So the council tried the Schools Forum, but, without more information about the financial implications for each school and the new rates to be charged by Kingswood, the Forum felt unable to commit to topslicing their budget for 25 years.

    Kingswood then approached the council with an offer to provide the money themselves. The sting in the tail was that Kingswood wouldn't commit to the 210-bed guarantee for Liverpool children, nor discounted rates throughout the year. But is there really no one else out there who could give us a better deal? We don't know because the negotiations have only been with Kingswood.

    The alternative, a charitable trust, was rejected by the council way back in 1999. And in January this year, the council voted against Labour's motion to "examine all proposals for upgrading Colomendy including having it run as a Liverpool not-for-profit company or charitable trust to ensure the continued affordable and prioritised access for all the city's children."

    There is no doubt in my mind that, once Kingswood has signed the 30-year lease with no rent payable until year seven, and then only £50,000 pa, it will be almost impossible to get it back. We must make sure every avenue is explored before this is allowed to happen. source....
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    LIVERPOOL children heading to Colomendy next summer will have to pay £236 for a four-night stay, compared to this year's rate of £84 - or just £56 for those receiving free school meals.

    Details of the coming year's pricing structure for the council-owned outdoor education centre in Wales came as the war of words continued over its future.

    Opposition Labour councillors claim the prices will escalate if the ruling Liberal Democrats go ahead next week with the plan to lease Colomendy to a private operator for the next 30 years.

    But Children's Services executive member Cllr Paul Clein said the future of Colomendy will be in jeopardy unless outdoor centre special-ists Kingswood take over the running of the estate, owned by the council since 1957.

    The council has negotiated a lower rate of charges compared to the normal fees in place at other Kingswood and rival sites, where the day rates can be as high as £73 including VAT.

    Cllr Clein said 75 Liverpool schools have already booked places at Colomendy in the coming year - even with the new pricing structure - compared to 37 Liverpool schools for the whole of the past year.

    Labour's education spokeswoman Cllr Jane Corbett said she had not given up hope of blocking the deal that will seal the future of Colomendy until 2036.

    She said: "The figures demonstrate quite clearly that poorer children will have to go in the middle of winter to pay anything like comparable prices.

    "It could stigmatise children because those going in winter and off-peak will be readily identified as the lesser-off, compared to betteroff children who can afford to go in the peak season. Currently there is no price variation at all."

    Prices for the coming year show daily rates ranging from £24 per night to £59 per night.

    Children receiving free school meals can claim a discount of up to 50% for 43 weeks of the year, but during a nine week period between May and July - the most costly weeks of the year under the new regime - there are no discounts.

    During that period a four-night stay will cost up to £236 for visits between Monday and Friday morning.

    Cllr Clein said: "Schools in Liverpool, including a number of inner-city schools, have in the past year gone to other Kingswood centres where there are no discounts, because they are not happy with what has been on offer at Colomendy. They have voted with their feet."

    Kingswood will be funding the subsidy scheme for Liverpool children to the tune of £100,000, a sum which Cllr Clein hopes the council will match next April to enable more children to visit Colomendy at reduced prices.

    But Cllr Corbett said: "What a way for Liverpool to celebrate its 800th birthday by farming out a much-loved facility to the private sector."

    New tariff for education centre will more than double costs next year
    INNER city community worker Alan Grace often takes parties of children to Colomendy from Kensington, Liverpool.

    Last month he and three adult helpers went to Colomendy with a party of 24 children and the total cost for a weekend was £864.

    The same weekend period next year will cost over £3,300 without a discount or £1,666 with a 50% discount if a lower price is agreed. Even the lower price is double the amount paid last month.

    Next month Mr Grace heads again to Colomendy with three adult helpers and 24 children and the cost will be £900.

    In September of next year the cost will be almost £2,600, or £1,300 if the full discount is applied to all of the children.

    New rules at Colomendy will mean fewer adults being allowed to accompany school parties unless they pay.

    The ratio is one adult for four young children and one adult for every eight older children, with extra help allowed for

    special schools. But Kingswood officials are increasing staff at the centre to around 100, meaning greater supervision and assistance for children.
    This year, Liverpool children have paid £18.75 a night, or £12.50 for those who have been eligible to receivie free school dinners.
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    Colomendy future is back in the spotlight
    Aug 17 2006
    By Jane Woodhead, Liverpool Echo



    EDUCATION chiefs in Liverpool were meeting tonight to discuss the future of education centre Colomendy.

    The camp near Mold, North Wales, has been surrounded in controversy as Liverpool council attempted to secure its long-term future.

    At a meeting of the education select committee tonight, councillors will look at the benefits of entering into a 30-year deal with education provider Kingswood.

    As part of the agreement Kingswood will bring in modern facilities and improve the centre for future generations.

    It will invest its own money upgrading the accommodation and learning facilities at the Loggerheads site.

    More than £1m has already been spent on a new adventure playg round.

    The facilities include a zip wire, climbing towers with scramble nets, high and low rope adventure activities, abseiling and an underground cave complex in the woods.

    A lake has also been created forwater activities such as sailing, canoeing and rafting.

    Councillors are also expected to discuss fees.

    Children visiting during the peak summer months arelikely to be asked to pay £236 for a four-night stay. But if they are receiving free school meals they will receive a discount.

    If they choose to stay for three days during the autumn or spring they will pay £58.

    The fees have caused concern among the critics of the way Colomendy will be run as children will be asked to pay more, but council chiefs stress there will continue to be "substantial discounts" available off-peak.

    Stuart Smith, interim executive director for children's services, said: "Our aim is to transform Colomendy into one of Europe's premier outdoor activity centres.

    "Modern residential and adventure facilities befitting the 21st century will provide our children with an opportunity to develop as self-aware, confident, healthy youngsters in a safe and secure environment."

    The centre was planned and built by the National Camps Corporation for children evacuated from their homes in Liverpool during World War II. It was bought by the council in 1957 and since then more than 350,000 youngsters have used the centre.

    The buildings, services and accommodation need updating. In recent years it had been losing £1m a year.

    Source: icLiverpool

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    Colomendy takeover goes ahead but subsidies stay
    Aug 18 2006
    By Adrian Butler Daily Post Staff



    COLOMENDY is now in the hands of a private company after a last-ditch attempt to stop the plans failed last night.

    At an acrimonious meeting, councillors voted to go ahead with plans to let a firm, Kingswood, take over the running of the estate in North Wales, owned by the council since 1957.

    It now means Liverpool children heading to Colomendy next summer will have to pay £236 for a four-night stay, compared to this year's rate of £84 - or just £56 for those receiving free school meals.

    Kingswood will invest millions in the centre, bringing in the latest adventure equipment.

    But the council will look at Colomendy again in a year to make sure Kingswood is keeping its promises about subsiding places for the most deprived pupils, Cllr Erica Kemp, chairwoman of the Children's Services Select Committee, said.

    More...

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    Now the

    new Colomendy is up and running, it won't be long before the 'No Liverpool School's Allowed' sign goes up.

    You certainly would still

    recognise the place, the dorms havn't been touched although there are plans for them, not sure what they are like. Lots of nice 'touches' everywhere, zip

    wires, a fake cave system and movement around camp is restricted unless a guide is with you.

    The ridiculous prices have ensured that a school I know very

    well won't be able to go unless the kids can pay 5 uk pounds a week for a very long time which isn't an option when you live in such a deprived part of the

    city. Shame really considering that Colomendy was the only holiday I had when I was in junior school

    .



    If it wasn't for the

    generocity of the big secondary schools paying thousands for the Primary Schools to go, then it wouldn't happen unfortunately.
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    Default Colomendy Camp

    Does anyone remember going to Colomendy Camp when they were at primary school?
    I remember my brother going there and we visited him on the Sunday cos he was homesick and going myself a couple of years later.

    My brother and I had a day out in Liverpool, reminiscing and on the way home decided to call into the camp to see if it had changed since we were kids.. The head teacher there came out to meet us.. and recognised my brother straight away.. turned out he'd been his teacher all those years ago!
    A bitter sweet time for me as my brother took ill not long after that and passed away.. but a wonderful memory and photos of that time.. always felt that was meant to be.. it's a day I'll never forget!

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    I've merged the message with the Colomendy thread, u may want to look back, its interesting. I loved Colomendy, I belive they are trying to keep scousers out, now its been taken over?!
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    Unfortunately not, Rudston was the only primary school that never went there I think. The Blue Coat used to own this cottage halfway up a mountain near Betwys-Y-Coed which had no heating and maybe no electric either. I managed to avoid it till 6th form when 3 days there was a compulsory part of geography A Level, which was a nightmare standing in streams measuring their speed, testing the texture of soils, exploring cirques on a mountain and taking sand samples from Caernarfon beach. I'll give the teachers credit though for dropping us off by the pub in the evenings.

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