We have been lied to over youth club, claim Bradford on Avon teenagers

This Is Wiltshire: Bradford on Avon Youth Centre users Jodie Styles, Cherry Riley, Luke Pronick and Alysha Green are unhappy that their centre is to be closed. Picture by Glenn Phillips Bradford on Avon Youth Centre users Jodie Styles, Cherry Riley, Luke Pronick and Alysha Green are unhappy that their centre is to be closed. Picture by Glenn Phillips

Members of Bradford on Avon’s youth club say they have been lied to after learning their centre would close earlier than expected, without any alternatives put in place.

BoA Youth, for 13 to 19-year-olds, meets in the town’s Community and Youth Development Centre in Frome Road three nights a week.

Each session is attended by up to 50 young people from Bradford, Holt, Trowbridge, Melksham and Winsley, who use the numerous rooms and sports hall for activities, including cooking.

A notice in the centre states that Wiltshire Council will cease running the youth club from the building as of August 1, but from August 1-15 there will be trips and activities at other locations.

Alysha Green, 16, has used the centre for four years, and was among the teenagers who sacrificed exam preparation time to prepare presentations and attend consultations into the youth service changes.

She said: “We feel the council has misled us.

“They promised the youth centre would remain here until they came up with something else to put in place and they said nothing would change until October. They have lied to us.

“The council said they would listen to us. The youth workers and building were the main things we were concerned about and they are the two main things that are changing.”

Cherry Riley, 17, said: “We feel like a decision was made before the consultation. We are trying to be heard as much as we can. We have put our opinion across so much.

“We put a lot of hard work over the half term and through our exams to prepare presentations, set up petitions and attend consultations. They haven’t put any consideration into all the work we did.”

James Davies, 17, who has attended the centre for four years, said: “We will miss the youth workers. We have built a bond with them. They care so much about the people and make sure they introduce themselves to everybody.

“I would rather talk to a youth worker because you can’t have a bond with a teacher and I felt my personal information would be shared in the staff room.”

Nathan Walker, 16, who used the centre for four years, said: “It goes against their slogan Everybody Matters. Young people are still vulnerable. It is a safe place for us to go. It helps everyone get on the right track.”

But Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, said: “Nothing has changed from what I said when the changes were announced.

“Clubs will not close until an alternative has been found. There may be a few weeks between one ending and another starting but the clubs will keep going.”

This week Wiltshire Council appointed a team of community youth officers to co-ordinate activities and support young people in each area.

As part of the changes, which saw the number of youth worker posts cut from 144 largely part-time roles to 25 full time posts, responsibility for the provision and funding of youth services has passed to the area boards.

Comments (8)

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8:12am Sat 19 Jul 14

Elboo1992 says...

This is a crying shame for the young people of Wiltshire. First Devizes, Holt & now BoA youth centres have ceased to function, leaving our youth in limbo & feeling betrayed by the council. WC have now alienated the young with their arrogant, penny pinching attitude.
They claim volunteers will pick up the slack, but where do they get the notion that this is sustainable? Once again the council is invoking the spurious notion that the Big Society will be our salvation. Try telling that to the young people now sat at home twiddling their thumbs, and the redundant youth workers who provided an excellent service.
This is a crying shame for the young people of Wiltshire. First Devizes, Holt & now BoA youth centres have ceased to function, leaving our youth in limbo & feeling betrayed by the council. WC have now alienated the young with their arrogant, penny pinching attitude. They claim volunteers will pick up the slack, but where do they get the notion that this is sustainable? Once again the council is invoking the spurious notion that the Big Society will be our salvation. Try telling that to the young people now sat at home twiddling their thumbs, and the redundant youth workers who provided an excellent service. Elboo1992
  • Score: 29

9:28am Sat 19 Jul 14

ohjanet says...

Particularly bad timing to close services for young people right at the start of the long school holidays. My son's youth club is closing next week - and this was until now the ONLY local summer activity for youngsters aged 18-25 with special needs. Everyone matters? What a joke.
Particularly bad timing to close services for young people right at the start of the long school holidays. My son's youth club is closing next week - and this was until now the ONLY local summer activity for youngsters aged 18-25 with special needs. Everyone matters? What a joke. ohjanet
  • Score: 30

1:23pm Sat 19 Jul 14

brandx says...

Why should the Tory councillors at County Hall worry?

It wasn't so long ago that they voted themselves a massive increase in allowances.

Yes, we are all in this together.

Who is kidding who?
Why should the Tory councillors at County Hall worry? It wasn't so long ago that they voted themselves a massive increase in allowances. Yes, we are all in this together. Who is kidding who? brandx
  • Score: 26

4:59pm Sat 19 Jul 14

loosewoman says...

"We feel like a decision was made before the consultation."

Yes, that's Wiltshire Council for you. They go through the motions, but they've already made their minds up. Whether it's campuses, bin collections, parking, youth clubs, volunteers in libraries or any other policy, they waste public money asking the public what it wants, and then if they don't like the result they go ahead anyway.

Their slogan should be, 'No-one matters in Wiltshire, unless you're a Tory councillor'.
"We feel like a decision was made before the consultation." Yes, that's Wiltshire Council for you. They go through the motions, but they've already made their minds up. Whether it's campuses, bin collections, parking, youth clubs, volunteers in libraries or any other policy, they waste public money asking the public what it wants, and then if they don't like the result they go ahead anyway. Their slogan should be, 'No-one matters in Wiltshire, unless you're a Tory councillor'. loosewoman
  • Score: 28

7:25pm Sat 19 Jul 14

politepanda says...

""Clubs will not close until an alternative has been found. There may be a few weeks between one ending and another starting but the clubs will keep going.”"
I can see why the kids thought you were lying, Wiltshire Council. Because you WERE!!
You told the kids you wouldn't close the centre until alternatives were in place.
YOU LIED!
In the usual Wilts Council condescending way.
Let's face it - if they can turn "a few months" into TWELVE YEARS (Replacement skate park Chippenham!) - then "a few weeks between one ending and another starting" doesn't bode well for the youngsters. Another group of upcoming voters being taught about bare-faced lies and general dishonesty by Wiltshire Council.
""Clubs will not close until an alternative has been found. There may be a few weeks between one ending and another starting but the clubs will keep going.”" I can see why the kids thought you were lying, Wiltshire Council. Because you WERE!! You told the kids you wouldn't close the centre until alternatives were in place. YOU LIED! In the usual Wilts Council condescending way. Let's face it - if they can turn "a few months" into TWELVE YEARS (Replacement skate park Chippenham!) - then "a few weeks between one ending and another starting" doesn't bode well for the youngsters. Another group of upcoming voters being taught about bare-faced lies and general dishonesty by Wiltshire Council. politepanda
  • Score: 25

8:26pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Room101 says...

As part of the changes, which saw the number of youth worker posts cut from 144 largely part-time roles to 25 full time posts. If this is correct, why can't the number of Councillors be cut. That would save the tax payers thousands. Or keep these youth clubs open.
As part of the changes, which saw the number of youth worker posts cut from 144 largely part-time roles to 25 full time posts. If this is correct, why can't the number of Councillors be cut. That would save the tax payers thousands. Or keep these youth clubs open. Room101
  • Score: 25

2:06pm Thu 24 Jul 14

SquirrelBoy says...

I just heard today that the community centre has been sold to housing developers and I am furious about it. I understand that non-core services are seeing cuts in funding, but for anyone in government or the council who considers that youth services are not a core service should simply not be in the well paid position that they are in.

So, we are well on our way to filling every square inch of boa with new houses, and the very community that induces people to live here is being eroded - ironically even now the community centre itself is being bulldozed to make way for housing.
I just heard today that the community centre has been sold to housing developers and I am furious about it. I understand that non-core services are seeing cuts in funding, but for anyone in government or the council who considers that youth services are not a core service should simply not be in the well paid position that they are in. So, we are well on our way to filling every square inch of boa with new houses, and the very community that induces people to live here is being eroded - ironically even now the community centre itself is being bulldozed to make way for housing. SquirrelBoy
  • Score: 2

7:46pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Room101 says...

SquirrelBoy wrote:
I just heard today that the community centre has been sold to housing developers and I am furious about it. I understand that non-core services are seeing cuts in funding, but for anyone in government or the council who considers that youth services are not a core service should simply not be in the well paid position that they are in.

So, we are well on our way to filling every square inch of boa with new houses, and the very community that induces people to live here is being eroded - ironically even now the community centre itself is being bulldozed to make way for housing.
Just shows you that they had no interest in keeping it open. They must have known ages ago. All they are interested in is how much they can get out of it. Can't wait for elections. Some home truths will be said.
[quote][p][bold]SquirrelBoy[/bold] wrote: I just heard today that the community centre has been sold to housing developers and I am furious about it. I understand that non-core services are seeing cuts in funding, but for anyone in government or the council who considers that youth services are not a core service should simply not be in the well paid position that they are in. So, we are well on our way to filling every square inch of boa with new houses, and the very community that induces people to live here is being eroded - ironically even now the community centre itself is being bulldozed to make way for housing.[/p][/quote]Just shows you that they had no interest in keeping it open. They must have known ages ago. All they are interested in is how much they can get out of it. Can't wait for elections. Some home truths will be said. Room101
  • Score: 5

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