Frank Field MP
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Wirral is a place that produces national champions

HERE is another success story. Not so long ago the Cheshire Regiment’s Hall in Grange Road West looked done for.

Cuts in local authority funding had already put a question mark against this building. Yet the building was used for sporting activities, particularly trampolining.

The users didn't simply wait for the axe to come down. They acted and set up the trust, which they run.

I visited the sports centre on Saturday. Well over 500 young people use the centre each week and that doesn't account for the school activities during the week.

The parents provide a large corps of volunteers. The centre costs about £150,000 a year to run.

What is interesting is what happened to the council’s costs when the trust took over. Here are important lessons for the group of constituents who are forming a similar trust to take over the Williamson Art Gallery.

The official costs for the centre didn't stand up to careful probing. There was a huge sum for the heating although there was no heating in the building. Three staff were employed but the building was filthy.

The trustees not only stripped out these bogus costs but were now able to apply for lottery money from which the council is excluded. £48,000 was gained to secure the roof.

So here is a real success story, not only keeping the building open, but in making it a place where Wirral produces national champions.

And it’s fun as I witnessed from the hall full of youngsters working out at the weekend.
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