ELECTION 2014 - Gorsehill and Pinehurst: No easy answer to area’s social issues (From This Is Wiltshire)
ELECTION 2014 - Gorsehill and Pinehurst: No easy answer to area’s social issues
Updated 10:22am Saturday 17th May 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
AT THE heart of all the work done by the winner of the Gorsehill and Pinehurst ward will be to address the social issues.
A lack of activities for both young and old has led to an increase in anti-social behaviour by some and isolation from others.
Those who live in the area say it is vital that whoever joins the council on Thursday speaks with the volunteers and community leaders to gain an understanding of the issues.
Only that way will many of the problems be solved.
Kathy Holland is the chairwoman of the Pinehurst Community Centre Association and says more needs to be done or problems will continue.
She said: “The main issue is that there is so little for young people to do. There is one youth club but that seems to lack the structure so it leads to kids hanging around the shops and in the Circle.
“My daughter is about to start secondary school and I am already worried about what she might fall into. I know this is a concern for so many parents in the area.
“There is also very little for older people to do. We run a lunch twice a week and for some this is the only time they leave the house to socialise. More really needs to be done to stop them becoming isolated.”
While Kathy understands that a single councillor is unlikely to be able to change much by themselves, they need to communicate on the ground.
“We want councillors who are able to understand the problems people face, especially the youths,” said Kathy.
“People like myself, the group secretary Kerrie Payton and other volunteers know what the problems are. If they come to us we can explain what needs doing and how to help.
“The biggest problem is there is a lack of structure for many people. The authority of teachers and the police has been undermined so kids don’t know where the boundaries are.
“What we need is a councillor who can help us to offer regular activities at the Community Centre and around Pinehurst which can bring the structure to their lives.”
At the election in 2012 all three seats were won comfortably by Labour candidates. However, Coun Rochelle Russell left the Labour Party and has represented the area as an independent. However, she is standing down as a councillor so there will be a new person in the seat come Friday morning.
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