School had a choice over rent

I write as one of the Brownie leaders affected by Honiton Primary School s rent increase.

I write as one of the Brownie leaders affected by Honiton Primary School's rent increase.

We had not intended to look back now we have found other premises, but the gross inaccuracies in the costs stated in the anonymous letter of January 6 need a reply.

My unit rented the school hall for one-and-a-half hours per week for between 10 to 12 weeks per term, depending on the length of the term - an average of 11 weeks per term or 33 weeks per year.

The previous rent, set by the school, was �100 per year, which over 33 weeks equals a session rate of �3.03 or an hourly rate of �2.02.

We knew and accepted that a rent rise was due, and we have never, at any time, asked the school to subsidise us.

It was the scale of the rent rise and the attempt to make a profit out of a charitable youth organisation that shocked all the Guiders, parents and, it seems, most of the people in Honiton.

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The new charge of �1,200 per year over the 33 weeks would have equated to �36.36 per session or an hourly rate of �24.24.

This would have meant, in round figures, an increase of �33 per session and not the �11 quoted by your correspondent.

That increase, passed on to parents, would have meant each family paying at least �15 extra per term, or �30 per term for two daughters, not easily absorbed in this time of financial restraint.

This was, I understand, a decision made by a sub-committee of the school governors, and not one which was forced upon them by the education authority at district or county level.

They had a choice under the county guidelines to treat Guiding as a designated user, benefiting the youth of the community and the pupils of the school, or as a commercial user, and they chose the latter.

Sue Kiddle

Brownie Guider

3rd Honiton Brownies

Church Hill