Youngsters asked for views over shake-up of Isle youth services

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Young people have given Crowle Town Council their views on proposed changes to the provision of youth services in the Isle.

The row over proposed changes to youth services rumbles on with the council hearing concerns from members of Crowle Youth Club who said they feared losing out on activities and access to the centre.

But they were told the centre would be open for more nights than it previously had been, there would be a wider range of activities on offer.

Councillor Rob Waltham, the cabinet member at North Lincolnshire Council who is driving through the changes, said: “I have learned a lot about consultation, and it’s the young people who matter.

“What we’re doing is about talking to you guys and shaping what you want.

“I like the idea of Fridays and Saturdays, but other nights must be down to what you choose – though you can’t always have everything you want.”

Coun Waltham told councillors the basis of youth service provision had not changed for 40 years, and needed updating – a process which would start to happen between April and September.

He said: “I will happily come back to you and hope to be able to talk about an increase in uptake for the service.

“We are trying to invest in young people. We must start to talk this up and give young people confidence in what we are going to do.”

But councillors were harder to convince and deputy mayor Coun Paul McCartan sought to ask Coun Waltham to put in writing the number of nights Crowle Youth Centre would be open.

He also asked Coun Waltham to include exactly who was going to provide the service, the ages and numbers of young people who would be able to attend, and how the transition would work.

The meeting was also told that one service provider, the Diocese of Lincoln, had said it would emphatically not work with people below secondary school age.

But Coun Waltham remained adamant that nobody would be turned away.

Coun Ron Stewart, who lives near the town’s youth centre said: “The Crowle Youth Centre is not close to a residential area, it’s in the middle of one.

“Those of us with a direct interest in the management of it have tried to find out for years what the aims and objectives of the youth service are, and we have never had an answer.

“For Coun Waltham to come here, and have to put up with what he has had to put up with, he is to be commended.”