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SCC Considering Adult Learning Centre for Children’s Services

Published on: 3 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 4 Aug, 2023

The Adult Learning Centre, Sydenham Road. Image SCC

By Martin Giles

The Adult Learning Centre site on Sydenham Road is being considered by Surrey County Council as a location for its Children’s Services.

Information received by The Guildford Dragon NEWS was forwarded to division councillor Fiona Davidson (R4GV, Guildford South East), who checked with the council.

Cllr Fiona Davidson

Cllr Davidson said: “I’ve been told that the Adult Learning Centre site on Sydenham Road is indeed being considered as a location for children’s services offices, but it’s one of a number of locations being considered and no decision has yet been made. A relocation would mean modernising the premises, but there are no plans for redevelopment.”

The Dragon’s source expressed concern that, if selected, adult learning at the Sydenham Road centre, a Victorian School building also used to house the Harvey Gallery, would be terminated, and the old school buildings demolished, a concern he felt would be shared by others in Guildford.

But Cllr Davidson said: “I’m also told that if the plans were to go ahead, the delivery of adult learning services would not be impacted. I’ve asked for clarification of this point.”

A claim the property was entrusted to SCC with a stipulation that it must be retained as an educational resource is also being checked. She said: “I don’t think there is any education restriction on the site, but I can check.”

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Responses to SCC Considering Adult Learning Centre for Children’s Services

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    August 4, 2023 at 6:49 am

    The former Pewley Down School has had many uses over the years after its secondary school pupils were removed to the newly created George Abbot School which I see now too is part of an Academy Trust so not under SCC’s control.

    Why didn’t SCC have similar proposals for the long vacant former Dene Street School, Dorking, which is after many years sold for development?

  2. Barry Williams Reply

    August 4, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Far better that the Harvey Gallery and Adult Learning Centre be relocated into modern, fit for purpose premises within the town, thus allowing their demolition and incorporation into a much larger site encompassing Bright Hill Car Park and the Robin Hood pub. This would allow truly affordable family homes and / or social housing to be built in this Town Centre location.

  3. M Durant Reply

    August 4, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    I don’t think they should put Children’s Services with the Adult Education Centre, because of child protection issues. They should have separate entrances, you shouldn’t be able to go through one to the other, they’ve got to be kept separate.

    Also, who is going to pay for the demolition and the creation of a new building, are they expecting money from the taxpayer as the government has cut down funding to the councils?

  4. Sarah Brandon Reply

    August 9, 2023 at 7:05 am

    This is terrible news for Guildford. The Guildford Adult Learning Centre is a real gem for our community. If child services moves in to this facility it is most certain room for many adult learning courses would be lost. These buildings were built as schools and actually are “built for purpose” unlike what a previous poster has suggested.

    My first question is why would child services be considering buildings that are not built for purpose for their use? Why would they consider spending so much money to renovate and modernise these old Victorian school buildings?

    Are there not any vacant and more suitable properties they could move into instead of taking something away from Guildford residents and at great cost to taxpayers?

    The Guildford Adult Learning Centre offers a variety of arts and crafts, language, computer courses and more. Surrey County Council has no right to take this from Guildford residents!

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