Charity is being forced out because of costs

PUBLISHED: 16:20 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 May 2010

I AM writing to express my sadness at the news that Home-Start Royston & South Cambridgeshire is moving out of its office at the Royston Health Centre to new premises in Meldreth. It has been located there since the scheme was founded here in Royston more

I AM writing to express my sadness at the news that Home-Start Royston & South Cambridgeshire is moving out of its office at the Royston Health Centre to new premises in Meldreth.

It has been located there since the scheme was founded here in Royston more than 25 years ago.

As a recent former chairman of the scheme, I understand totally the reasons why it had to do this, as its current office is cramped and unsuitable for its staff. However, I also know that it would have dearly liked to have stayed in Royston, where it has always done such extremely valuable work with local families, but was unable to find any premises that were within its budget, as rents in Royston are so high.

Another deciding factor in its decision was the increase in car parking charges implemented last year, which greatly added to its annual staffing/admin costs.

This is just another sad example of organisations, businesses and charities such as Home-Start being forced out of our town, although I am sure that with larger office space it will be able to offer an enhanced service to Royston and the surrounding villages.

It is such a shame that it was unable to find appropriate and affordable accommodation in the town, indicating that planners should address the needs of voluntary organisations within their development plans and that some Royston landlords should consider asking for more reasonable rents for properties.

I would also, however, like to take this opportunity to thank Home-Start for all its hard work and commitment to the people of Royston for so many years.

I know just how many lives Home-Start volunteers have turned around because of its friendship and help.

I know that it will continue to offer its usual high standard of service to all our local families wherever it is based.

Cllr LINDSAY DAVISON

Royston Town Council

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