Cuffley Camp: Decision to be put before county council scrutiny committee

PUBLISHED: 15:12 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:38 16 November 2017

Cuffley Camp. Picture: Danny Loo

Cuffley Camp. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

The decision by Herts County Council to pull its support of Cuffley Camp outdoor education centre could yet be reversed.

Liberal Democrat councillors from Watford, Royston, and St Albans have ‘called in’ the decision by the council’s Conservative cabinet to terminate the lease on the camp.

This means the council’s oversight and scrutiny committee will review the cabinet’s decision in the next two weeks.

The committee could then ask cabinet to change its decision on the facility, located near to Potters Bar.

Lib Dem leader Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said: “The decision was so disgraceful. With the full implications not being considered, it absolutely must be revisited.

“We spent almost two hours at the resources panel last week and we still could not get to the bottom of what went wrong and why.

“I was horrified to find out senior councillors and officers knew about the lease problems as long ago as January 2016, but had not brought this to the attention of others until November this year.

“Rather than get the camp on a firm footing and make it usable for all children they then just wanted to close it!

“This will potentially deprive tens of thousands of children of valuable outdoor education over the next 15 years.”

Cabinet decided on Monday to terminate the lease on the outdoor education centre because HCC could not maintain the level of investment needed to bring the camp up to standards.

The deputy leader of the council, Harpenden councillor David Williams, said: “Such investment would not be the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

The decision was made in the face of 10,000-strong petition calling for Cuffley Camp to be kept open.

The camp’s landlord is considering reopening the outdoor education centre.

Fellow Lib Dem county councillor Steve Jarvis, who represents Royston West & Rural, said: “The council has failed to consider any option to maintain the lease to keep the camp open until the freeholders of the site secured an alternative and clearly better run long-term outdoor use for young people.

“That is totally shameful and it is what they should have been doing for the last 18 months.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Royston Crow visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Royston Crow staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Royston Crow account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories


With the festive season approaching, Melbourn Amateur Dramatics Society are busy putting the final touches in their annual Christmas pantomime.

Yesterday, 16:55

Garden House Hospice Care held its first Strictly Come Dancing-inspired fundraiser in Letchworth on Saturday, and it was 10s all round on the night.

Yesterday, 12:15

A singing Royston accountant is set to release his debut single – with town businesses and organisations featuring in the charity video.

Yesterday, 11:51

The family of Royston dad-of-three Mitchell Bailey, who died when a fire engine crashed while responding to a 999 call have said their “happy and contented family has been left broken” and they feel the driver “showed no compassion”, after a jury found him not guilty of dangerous driving on Friday last week.

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Royston Crow weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy