MORE than a thousand people have backed a campaign to save a closure-threatened children’s holiday camp.
Salford City Council have claimed that they cannot afford the £50,000 needed to keep open the Salford Children’s Holiday Camp in Prestatyn, which has provided holidays for schoolchildren since 1926.
The camp – known affectionately as the Jam Butty Camp – was established to provide free holidays by the sea for disadvantaged children but today it is available to all primary schoolchildren in return for a donation.
More than 1,300 people have signed an online petition to fight closure plans - among them is Irene Crumb, of Prestatyn, whose parents Ken and Ivy Stamford ran the camp in the 1960s.
They were succeeded by Irene’s sister Carol McEwen and her husband Derek, who remained in charge until 1983.
Mrs Crumb said: “My memories of the camp are fantastic and thousands of children have gone through the camp.
“I remember one little girl, during a visit to the beach, who said ‘blimey that’s a big river?’ She had only seen the river Erwell in Salford.
“We are desperately trying to stop this closure. There is work that needs doing, but not something that cannot be done.”
David Cooper, former president of a friendship club for elderly residents from Prestatyn, who met at the camp, added: “The group now have to find an alternative venue or fold.”
Mike Sweeney, a BBC Radio Manchester presenter, enjoyed a seaside break with his brother Terry when their parents fell on hard times.
“If I hadn’t gone on to the camp I wouldn’t have had a holiday,” he said.
The camp is run by trustees with an auula grant from the council which also manages its administration and accounts.
The trustees will discuss the matter at the end of this week but schools which have already booked are being told that the camp will not open this summer, and they will be reimbursed.
Councillor Bernard Pennington, Trustees chairman, said it was upsetting having to close but they needed guaranteed funding of £50,000 a year.
But a Salford council spokesperson said the authority had already had to make £97 million of cuts, with another £82 million over the next three years.
“The holiday camp needs a huge amount of investment to make it suitable for future use,” the spokesperson said.
Irene Crumb’s other sister, Pat Glanville, added that they would be doing everything possible to halt the closure and were trying to recruit volunteers to carry out whatever work was necessary.