Ceramic group given notice

PUBLISHED: 13:37 21 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:19 10 June 2010

Regrettably, it appears the Exmouth Ceramic Group has been given notice to quit the Kennaway Centre, Exmouth, by social services (managers of adult learning and community courses). The result could be a serious diminution of arts and crafts in Exmouth

Regrettably, it appears the Exmouth Ceramic Group has been given notice to quit the Kennaway Centre, Exmouth, by social services (managers of adult learning and community courses). The result could be a serious diminution of arts and crafts in Exmouth - something the town can ill afford. It's possible that its demise will result in total loss of pottery facilities if the group fail to find alternative premises.As a pottery student, I would like to thank members of the Exmouth Ceramic Group for the support they have given students of all ages for many years. Those benefiting include children and courses held for people with disabilities. The group has also made an important contribution to the Exmouth Festival in recent years. Over 1,200 visitors saw the combined photography/pottery exhibition at this year's festival. Not to be forgotten are the centre's local administrative staff who have always been supportive.Readers may not appreciate that this highly skilled group has over 30 years' experience. The teachers benefit from the group's provision of all the fixed equipment and individuals' time with essential tasks such as mixing glazes, managing clay supplies, maintaining cleanliness (vital with pottery) and, importantly, running the kilns. This task is both time consuming and technically demanding. All this is unpaid work that they have been pleased to do.If managers of adult learning and community courses have any plans to continue with pottery as a subject in Exmouth, there are important questions to be answered. These include: a) justification of the initial capital costs to the taxpayer when a perfectly good working pottery is being dismantled! b) running costs when much of the support work is undertaken by themselves. c) can they be sure of filling enough pottery courses to justify the cost? Recent uptake of some authority-advertised courses has not been encouraging.At the present time, fees for courses are not cheap. I regret to say that I can only see the outcome being even more expensive courses (if they exist at all) and additional costs for taxpayers to absorb during an inflationary time for everyone. This can be avoided by the authority working with a group of people who know what they are about, have the equipment already set up and running and are more than happy to give their time and enthusiasm in a cause that they all love.John Weekes, 41 Regents Gate,Exmouth.

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