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Students may face their final lessons

PUBLISHED: 15:30 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:48 24 August 2010

A FUMING community believes council chiefs are treating them with contempt and damaging the prospects of students in a deprived area. Students at Harlesden Brent Adult Community Education Services (BACES) in Craven Park Road, Harlesden, slammed Brent C

A FUMING community believes council chiefs are treating them with contempt and damaging the prospects of students in a deprived area.

Students at Harlesden Brent Adult Community Education Services (BACES) in Craven Park Road, Harlesden, slammed Brent Council for making a decision to move them into a new library and get rid of their old building.

While pleased at the potential of new and better services, the students also feel the council has ignored pleas to keep the old building, which has more rooms than their proposed new base and a crèche for young parents.

Rupert Mikely, from Harlesden, and a student for 12 years, said: "We were not consulted on any move and now we find we have smaller classrooms, fewer of them and no creche.

"We are treated with total disrespect. These people do not care one bit about Harlesden and they have showed that here."

More than 100 students currently use the building for lessons such as maths and English, but some fear this could come to an end.

Rakshita Parmar, chairwoman of BACES student forum, said: "There will be a huge drop off if they (Brent Council) push ahead with this.

"People will not be able to come as they are starting classes earlier and they will not have a crèche. These young parents and those in Harlesden in need are the ones that BACES was set up to help but by getting rid of this building they will tear down the service too."

Users have started a petition to force the council to re-think their decision.

Dawn Butler, MP for Brent South, said: "The people of Harlesden, are constantly being mistreated and ignored by this Lib Dem administration and frankly they deserve better."

A council spokesman said: "Last year, both the Harlesden and Stonebridge creches were only half full, so we will be supporting parents to find alternative childcare, instead of opening up a new, underused crèche.

"The new centre does not need as many rooms because it will have extended opening hours, including Saturdays.

"It will also offer a broader range of courses than before.

"Students will also benefit from a hugely-improved learning environment, including improved library facilities, more books for study and increased access to IT, such as interactive whiteboards in classrooms."

alex.wellman@archant.co.uk


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