By Connie Osborne 24/08 Updated: 29/08 17:20
THE CLOSURE of Redditch Youth House has been pushed back to give county chiefs more time to commission new services.
The Ipsley Street site had been due to shut at the end of this month (August) but councillors have now promised to keep it open while talks continue with young people about the future of youth services in the town.
Coun Jane Potter, responsible for education and skills at Worcestershire County Council, said there would ‘not be a time’ when there were no youth activities provided.
“We will continue until the new ones are put in place. There will be activities happening all across the town so young people will have somewhere more local to go rather than coming to the Youth House.
“Hopefully lots of really good things are going to happen. Young people have been involved right from the word go and we will be continuing to check we are providing what they want.
“It is very important they have interesting things to do and places where they can just be. Often young people say they just want somewhere to hang out with their friends and that will be part of what we offer.”
A spokeswoman for the authority confirmed the original closure date of August 31 had been pushed back while discussions with residents and community groups continued.
But young people are still hoping to convince councillors to keep the existing building open.
Ciara Welborne staged a protest with more than 50 youngsters on Wednesday (August 22) in a last ditch attempt to save what she described as an ‘amazing place’.
The 12-year-old said she had organised the event to save the Youth House so there was a place for her and her friends to go.
“I would be devastated if it closed, I’ve made so many friends and it’s a place where I can relax and can do what I enjoy. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
Her mother Maggie said she feared the closure would mean more young people on the borough’s streets.
“I dread to think what will happens if it goes. We already have problems with anti-social behaviour and now more children will be out on the streets. They are bored and looking for something to do and the council should be helping them.
“The group aren’t trouble makers, they want to spend their time in a great environment and they want to come here, so why would you stop that?”
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