Huppert calls for national intervention over campsite sale

21 May, 2013 No Comments

MP Julian Huppert has called on the national Scouts Association to intervene so that the sale of the Little Abington site does not go ahead. 

He called on CEO Matt Hyde to look at the history and stop the sale from proceeding. 

And he told County Scouting Commissioner, Liz Craig that he felt that selling off the Little Abington campsite is not the best way to secure the long-term future of Cambridge scouting. 

He said the sale of the land, originally donated by a local businesses and organisations, would conflict with the intent of that donation. 

In a letter to Mr Hyde he told him that the Little Abington site is “lovely” and “well suited for wild camping and other uses, and well supported by the local community”. 

“I would urge you to look into the history, and intervene to ensure that the sale does not proceed,” he told him. “There are many local people who would be very happy to talk you through the details.” 

And he told Ms Craig in a letter: “I understand the financial constraints, but I have been shown outline business plans which suggest that the land could be used during the weekdays to make a significant income, as well as continuing with the current heavy use. 

“Selling off a valuable asset cheaply does not seem to be the best way of securing the long-term future of scouting in this area.” 

He told her that many constituents had contacted him with concerns about the proposed sale and he visited the campsite last week. 

“It is clearly a valuable asset to the local community and the wider Cambridgeshire area,” he said. “I understand that not only Scouts but many local schools, Girl Guides and other groups use the campsite. It would be a shame to lose the facility which remains popular with the local community. I also understand that when a planning application was made for the site, it was described in that application as being a ‘key local amenity’ and of importance locally, regionally and nationally.” 

Julian is planning to meet Ms Craig to discuss the issue further. 

Later Julian said: “It would be a real shame if the campsite were sold off. Generations of young people have enjoyed this site and it could bring pleasure to future generations. Once it is sold it is lost forever. 

“I am sure the site could generate more income and I hope the Cambridgeshire Scouts will think again before it’s too late.”

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