Some of you may already know that Wiltshire Council have decided to close Urchfont Manor and sell it in the very near future. This will mean no more wonderful courses, no more use of the wonderful grounds, and no more of that wonderful and delicious food. They have decided this with no public consultation, and if someone hadn’t got ‘wind’ of it and begun a fight, probably without anyone knowing. There is more information here, which just happens to be the Liberal Democrats Wiltshire Council website. From what I have been told there has been the inevitable manipulation of figures, and, as in most cases like this, everything is being kept secret. It is possible that it is already a ‘done deal’, but in the hope that something can be salvaged an online petition has been set up.
Anyone can sign the petition. Urchfont was the very first Residential College for Adult Education in the country. It has been attended by students from all over the country, and also from all over the world. This year alone I know that students have come from as far away as New Zealand and the USA. The petition states:
‘We the undersigned petition the council to Retain Urchfont Manor as an adult education facility, or support any bid by a purchaser for the property that intends to maintain it as a residential adult education centre.
There has been very little public consultation on the proposal to sell Urchfont Manor, please lend your support.’
You can help by registering your interest and signing here. This might be more important than you think because local business men have already expressed an interest in buying the property and continuing Adult Learning at the site. This would be very good news, and your signature could help persuade the council that this is a good idea.