Cardiff Council looks for new ways to run Cardiff Riding School

March 19, 2013 No Comments »
Cardiff Riding School protest

Campaigners gathered outside City Hall last month to protest against the proposed funding cut to Cardiff Riding School.

Cardiff Council wants people to get in touch with their views on how Cardiff Riding School could be run in future, as it searches for an “alternative operating model” for the Pontcanna-based stables.

The school has been at the centre of controversy over the last two months after the council announced in its draft budget that it planned to withdraw the £22,000 used to support the centre, leaving riders and staff worried that it would have to close.

The announcement was followed by a public outcry, with thousands of signatures gathered in opposition to the cut and protests staged outside City Hall.

But the council then announced, just prior to its final budget meeting, that it would not be cutting the school’s funding for the 2013/2014 financial year. However, it did say it would be looking for an alternative operating model for the stables in future, such finding a third party to run the facility.

Now the local authority is asking for people to give their views experiences of using the centre to its economy and culture scrutiny committee, which has been charged with conducting the review of the stables.

Chairman of the economy and culture scrutiny committee, Councillor Craig Williams, said: “It’s important for councillors to be fully aware of the options available for the riding school and to examine the different models of practice that exist.

“We also want to explore the role Cardiff Riding School plays, and its business model. As a part of this work we want to hear from the people who use the school, in particular their thoughts on the way its run, the facilities and options for the future. If you have a view please email and your comments will be considered as a part of our investigations.”

Cardiff Riding School was opened by what was then the Glamorganshire Council in 1970 to provide for children who would otherwise not have the chance to ride.

It has always been council run, offering individual and group lessons for people of all ages, abilities and disabilities, as well as giving work experience to local school pupils and veterinary students.

To contribute to the economy and culture scrutiny committee’s review, e-mail scrutinyviewpoints@cardiff.gov.uk by April 3.

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