Welcome to the Friends of the Wilderness Centre
We are a voluntary community organisation formed in December 2010 to support the continuance of the Wilderness Centre as an Environmental Education Service.
Having failed to persuade the County Council to retain environmental services the friends of the Wilderness Centre began to campaign to purchase the site and offer environmental courses to the community. A Community Interest Company was formed called The Wilderness Project, in order to manage the whole project. The vision, aims and governance of The Wilderness Project can be found at www.thewildernessproject.org.uk
Why are the community being asked to buy a property that it already owns?
The Board of The Wilderness Project are now using the recently enacted Localism Bill to ask Gloucestershire County Council to transfer ownership of The Wilderness Centre, at no cost, as a ‘community asset transfer’. This permits the transfer of a ‘community asset’ to a ‘viable community led organisation’.
We need your help.
We now need your help to remind the County Council of the community support that exists throughout the County. There are paper petitions being distributed and there is also an e-petition. The petition states that:
I support the application by the Friends of the Wilderness Centre for Gloucestershire County Council to keep the Wilderness Centre in the community by transferring ownership to The Wilderness Project.
We need you to collect signatures but also write to your local Councillor and explain why you support this ‘asset transfer’ request. It is now that we need you to help us. We know that you have not been involved much whilst the negotiations have been going on, but we haven’t forgotten you. We knew you were there ready to help, but there wasn’t much to do last year – now there is!
VOLUNTEER HELPERS REQUIRED
Sponsorship and Marketing Volunteers.
We need to get sponsorship and financial help to support our business plan and to ensure that we get get going as soon as the Wilderness Centre is transferred to us. We need volunteers who can phone business, send out letters and meet potetial sponsors If you feel that you can help then please contact Trevor or Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance and Accounting.
Once The Wilderness Project is up and running we are going to need some more help with the finance and accounting. If you can offer even a few hours each week then your help will be greatly received. Again contact us at email@example.com
The Board of The Wilderness Project have made a formal application to Gloucestershire County Council for an ‘community asset transfer’, this is different to a ‘right to bid’. We have sent the County Council three Position Statements that explain why we have made the application. These open letters are available on the CC Negotiations page. As yet we have not had a formal response to our request for to transfer the Wilderness to the community. Following the elections, which give no party overall control, the largest group, the Conservatives, will continue as a minority. Up to now there has been no response to e-mails to Councillors. We continue to wait for a response, whilst the Wilderness Centre continues to cost rate payers at least £3000 per week.