Talks being planned to safeguard youth base

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 March 2013

Town council's bid to take over Nailsea Youth House.

Town council's bid to take over Nailsea Youth House.

Archant

NAILSEA Town Council wants to take over Nailsea Youth House to ensure its young people have a permanent base in the town.

The council has been running youth drop-in sessions at the High Street venue three times a week and the scheme has been so successful the authority wants to make sure it continues.

Nailsea Town Council set aside £10,500 in April last year to pay for Youth Outreach to operate the sessions after North Somerset withdrew funding for youth provision.

In light of the unitary authority’s recent cutbacks, the town council is keen to take over the lease of the building to make sure youngsters have somewhere to go.

Speaking at a town council meeting on February 27, chairman Rod Lees said: “The children have been making use of Nailsea Youth House, but we could do with a lease from North Somerset.

“Because North Somerset Council is making cutbacks, it may decide to sell the building.

“At the moment we’ve got no say on it and we would have nowhere for the kids to go.”

Town councillor Helen Hamblin has been helping at the venue and confirmed that up to 30 children have been attending the sessions.

She said: “I asked the kids what they would be doing if it wasn’t open and they said they would be on the streets or in the underpass.

“They just want something to do, it’s a social area for them.

“They haven’t got a lot there. They haven’t got a coffee bar. They’ve got a pool table, a couple of computers which sometimes work, a sofa and some computer games.

“They’ve got another room with a drum kit and they can use the kitchen to do some cooking.”

Apart from Youth Outreach and a couple of sessions run by the children’s centre, the building is hardly used and the town council fears it may be closed if it does not take it on.

Cllr Lees added: “If we are going to give these children a long-term commitment, they need to have a home.

“We need an urgent meeting with whoever organises the lease. If we get security on that building and a reasonable rent we could consider spending money on more equipment for the children, but until we’ve got it we can’t do it because we might be without a base.”

The authority has agreed to set up a meeting with North Somerset Council to discuss taking over the lease.


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