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Tabard After School Project makes urgent appeal for help

Councillors have requested a meeting of officers within two weeks to discuss the Tabard After School Project which is seeking a new home.

Rainbow Building, Crosby Row/Porlock Street
TASP operates from the Rainbow Building which Charterhouse-in-Southwark plans to sell

The action comes after the project, known locally as TASP, claimed to have been abandoned as a result of Charterhouse-in-Southwark's closure programme.

Last Tuesday the Borough & Bankside Community Council, meeting in the St George the Martyr crypt, received a late night emergency deputation from TASP. Local resident Juliet Smith read a statement on behalf of parents unable to be present.

TASP is due to lose its premises provided by Charterhouse on Friday 19 September soon after the new school term commences. The meeting was informed that although the Elim & Meakin tenants' hall had been offered as an alternative it needed to be made suitable for childcare provision required by law.

"So as not to disrupt children's new academic routine we would like the council to support us in helping us to move into the TRA's hall by the end of August," said the parents.

The after school club provides a collection service from Boutcher Primary School, Cathedral School, Charles Dickens Primary School, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School and Townsend Primary School.

"What makes TASP unique is the fact that we are very much community-minded," said the statement.

"The need for our service is evident by the number of children we have on roll and the take-up of our service on a regular basis. As a voluntary organisation established for over twenty years, Southwark Council have always shown us support.

"We are asking the council for their continuous support to our project. In light of Charterhouse-in-Southwark closing, TASP is faced with no premises."

The surprise statement was received with applause from residents present in the hall.

"It obviously is extremely urgent," replied Community Council chair Cllr Lorraine Zuleta (Lib Dem).

Cllr Danny McCarthy (Labour), who described Charterhouse as "intransigent", said that the charity had failed to inform the council of the situation.

Cllr Mackie Sheik (Lib Dem) said: "Lots of parents in Chaucer Ward are affected. This is a genuine urgent situation."

Afterwards Juliet Smith said that the parents were very worried and had sought advice on council procedure in order to raise the matter before the school holidays when there is difficulty in calling meetings.

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