Youth centre cash worries

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CONCERNS have been raised over the future of Holbeach Youth Centre in light of county-wide funding cuts to youth services.

Holbeach parish councillors were told on Monday no community or voluntary group had come forward to keep the centre on Boston Road running when Lincolnshire County Council eventually stops paying for the service.

In August, we revealed opening hours were to be slashed to just one night a week, massively reducing the operations at Spalding, which ran four nights a week, and Holbeach, which ran for three.

The decision by the county council was made as part of wide-spread cuts to help plug a £125million funding black hole.

District and parish councillor Martin Howard told how the county council is currently picking up all the costs for the youth centre, but that funding will be reduced in stages over the next year.

He said the idea was for community and voluntary groups to eventually take over the full running costs, with the county council guaranteeing one night a week for the youth club.

Coun Howard said: “I am a little concerned because the community has to take it over and no one has come forward to take over the management roles.

“It’s going to be a great loss if we lose the youth club. We do not know what the business plan is or what Lincolnshire County Council has in mind. It’s a case of attending all the meetings.”

Coun Jayne Cornwell said she was hoping more information would be available Wednesday (yesterday) at the next meeting.

Parish council chairman Rita Rudkin said it would be a “very sad loss” if the youth club was lost.

Coun Howard also told the meeting residents had to realise the centre in Holbeach had two functions, with the sports hall also operating at the back.

“In my opinion the sport hall will be no trouble but the main problem will be the youth club,” he added.

Coun Howard also asked for the issue to be added on the agenda for the council’s March meeting so further updates can be given.