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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Workington youth zone bid to help tackle surge in crime

A Workington councillor wants to set up a youth club to combat anti-social behaviour and crime in Moorclose.

Stephen Stoddart

Stephen Stoddart, of Yewdale Court, hopes to start the club for 10 to 16-year-olds in the estate’s community centre by June.

It would provide youngsters with a place to talk to youth workers, go on computers and take part in sports activities.

Coun Stoddart’s idea has already gained the backing of Allerdale councillor Denis Robertson and police community support officer Linzi Wilkinson.

He will meet with South Workington Youth Partnership on April 24 to discuss the plans.

Coun Stoddart said: “Everywhere else has a youth group. Why isn’t there something for the kids of Moorclose?

“A lot of the councillors up here are so negative about having a youth zone and their answer is that these kids should go to the sports centre but that’s expensive and not all families can afford that.

“At the moment, the community centre is used for a pensioners’ club, a disabled children’s club and a toddlers’ group but there’s nothing in place for the kids. It’s a perfect venue for a youth zone.”

Coun Stoddart said an increase in crime to 27 incidents last month was a sign that something was needed.

“The level of crime is just a reflection that something needs to be done for these youngsters,” he said.

“They have nothing and that’s why they’re going out and causing trouble.

“We need to show them that they’re part of the community.”

Mr Stoddart, who grew up in Moorclose, added that there hadn’t been a youth group in Moorclose for about 15 years.

“Around 20 years ago I went to the old Moorclose youth club, which was held where the sixth form centre is now, and we had some fantastic times in there.

“What have the kids got to look forward to up here now? They are left to roam the streets and some turn to crime and drink and drugs.

“If we could save 10 or 20 kids from falling off the rails then they could become role models for the rest of the kids in the area.”

Coun Robertson said: “I back Stephen 100 per cent. There has been an increase in crimes in the area in the past month. Just think how much this could be reduced if we gave the kids something to do.

“Stephen’s idea is great and I think it would help to get these children off the streets.”

Have your say

well done stephen, hope you are successful in your venture, nice to see a councillor doing something for his local community.

Posted by udale court resident on 13 April 2012 at 18:34

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