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Ealing Council challenged by LibDems over 12 year delay in extending lease for The Log Cabin children’s charity

At a recent full council meeting on 11 July 2023, Ealing Liberal Democrats have challenged Labour-run Ealing Council on why it is taking so long to renew Northfield Avenue-based children’s charity The Log Cabin lease. The main opposition party say the issue has been  dragging on for 12 years.

The Log Cabin, which provides care and activities for children and young people with additional needs and disabilities, has been running since 1977.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Ball, spokesperson on Planning, Licensing and Housing, said the charity risks losing over £100,000 of funding from a corporate donor for a new playground if this matter is not dealt with quickly. He revealed that the lease expired in 2011 and The Log Cabin has been seeking a new one since then from Ealing Council.

Following his question to Councillor Polly Knewstub, cabinet member for Thriving communities, Councillor Knewstub said: “The council is looking to agree the new lease with The Log Cabin charity in the next few months. There have been several reasons why this has taken some time, including the need to align terms with other equivalent providers and the need to agree a concurrent service level agreement for provision of the statutory service The Log Cabin charity operates on behalf of the council.”

Ealing Liberal Democrats have also highlighted that The Log Cabin is one of several other local community organisations where the council has yet to sign leases for their premises. These include 1st Ealing North Scout Group which uses the Scout hut in Montpelier Park and ESDEG (the Education and Skills Development Group, a charity which helps address the needs of the local Somali community), which runs the Viking Community Centre in Northolt.

Councillor Ball said: “We are continuing to press Labour on this issue as their long delays in processing leases have a knock-on effect in that potential donors require a lease to show that a charity has a secure future. This comes at an unprecedented cost of living crisis where charitable giving has reduced and this slowness in processing essential legal documents could make all the difference to the continuing viability of local charities and other voluntary groups.”

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