Thames Chase future looks bleak

THE FUTURE of a popular Havering ecological project has been thrown into doubt after Brentwood Borough Council voted to withdraw its share of funding.

The Thames Chase Community Forest project, which has a visitor’s centre in Pike Lane, Upminster, has been running for 40 years and is funded by five different local authorities, including Havering.

At a meeting last week, Brentwood became the first council to vote to cease funding the project, while at another, Havering chiefs said they would withdraw funding if other authorities did.

Trustee Mary Wright said: “We’re very sad that Brentwood council cannot manage to pay in next year. The news is so fresh that at the moment we are unsure about the future of the projects which were they were funding,” Mrs Wright said.

She added that the trust will try to look for other sources of funding in the future, and that they were still waiting on the decisions of other local authorities.

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Cabinet members at Havering Council said last week that they would not unilaterally withdraw funding from the project, but had based their budget calculations for the next year on included ending funding for it based on other authorities doing so.

Mrs Wright said that the project hopes people will continue to contact their MPs and councillors over the issue.

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