From education to employment

Magistrates Spearhead Campaign to Save Local Learning Centre

The Aswell Street Learning Centre in Louth has become the focal point of a campaign by the local community to save it from closure.

The campaign is being spearheaded by two Louth magistrates and comes in the wake of the shock announcement by the college. Lincoln College announced the planned closure just days after the centre’s annual presentation night, citing cuts in the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) allocated adult learner funding to them of approximately 25%.

The town’s mayor, Councillor Eileen Ballard, had been the guest presenter at the awards night and praised the students for their achievements, urging them on to further success. Following the announcement, she joined forces with fellow town Justice of the Peace Sheila Morrison to safeguard the college and the eight staff who serve there.

Save the Centre

Councillor Eileen Barnard, a former student of the college, said: “This Learning Shop is among one of the most profitable and has hundreds of students. It is a successful learning centre. Why then close it?” Mrs. Morrison, who also studied at the centre, agreed, saying: “The adult population is crying out to come here. The 16 to 18-year-olds have sixth form colleges at schools and there is educational provision in Grimsby. This is favouring them at the expense of those who are working and want to improve their skills and those who are training to get a job.”

A spokesperson for the college sympathised with the plight of the centre and said that it had been a “horrible decision” to take. The spokesperson called attention to the fact that this represents a national rather than just a local trend and said: “This is happening across the country. The Government want more resources going into 16 to 18-year-olds.”

Jethro Marsh

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