Big Society to make up youth centre shortfall

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SOUTH Holland’s “big society” is to be called on to help make up the shortfall caused by cutbacks at youth centres.

In announcing the plans, Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for children’s services, said the county council is looking to work with voluntary and community groups to develop additional provision from the youth centres.

And South Holland district councillor Nick Worth, who is portfolio holder for the Government’s Big Society concept, said: “I would imagine that youth centres, like community centres and village halls, could allow other groups to come and provide activities at the facilities.

“For instance, Holbeach has a huge sports hall and groups are queuing up to play five-a-side football in there and I can’t see any reason that shouldn’t happen.

“It’s just a matter of giving them the keys and letting them get on with it as long as there is a responsible adult there.

“The whole idea is just a different way of doing things with less central involvement. For donkeys’ years everything has been run by the council but now it is an opportunity for community groups and others to say they would like to use the facilities for whatever they want to use it for.”

And town centre ward councillor Gary Taylor said the cutbacks could be an opportunity for youth clubs to improve and grow if volunteers come forward to offer their services.

He said; “Hopefully in the future people should come together and put in place extra hours or use the youth centre buildings.”