Tuesday, 10 June 2014

What is Happening with Rumbles Cafe at Sconce Park?

I went in with my companion to get tea and scones, only to find this message displayed;

I signed

I signed the petition of course, while wondering what exactly it was that was causing this favourite little community cafe to feel it was under threat.

A brief google search leads me to conclude that this issue of rent subsidy reported upon last year, may be the most likely cause. 

Well, if this is the issue, then it is terribly sad. I would have thought that the whole point of a community cafe like this was to be a low cost venue for families and visitors to use when visiting Sconce Park for fun, Parkrun, or the historical nature of the site. 

Sconce Park has been transformed in recent years into a place that feels an awful lot safer and more pleasant to use than it used to be, and this Cafe is one of the reasons. There is no discussion on charging people to visit the Sconce fort, or use the children's play area, or walk the dog, and surely their use of the park is subsidised as well.

There is the issue of the employment opportunities for vulnerable and folk, and people with learning disabilities too, a very significant one if one thinks of the closure of many Remploy factories. Rumbles must also be a far more stimulating and sociable place for folk to work than some menial place on a well meaning but patronising production line. A lot less soul destroying too, take it from me, I know.

Still , in these days of austerity, what can one expect? The tiniest little social enterprise is under threat if it can't justify its existence with ledger lines full of numbers with a lot of black zeroes at the end.

Is £3,500 such a huge figure to be providing to an organisation that harms no-one, provides pleasure to many - it gets very busy on Parkrun days and when the sun is out - and provides jobs to those who might struggle in the labour market otherwise? 

Perhaps the adoption of Rumbles by the Civil War Centre project could be an option. As long as they keep things the way they are, for it is too nice a facility to lose.

I love the Rumbles fish sign!

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