LETTER: Tibshelf Parish Council is committed to supporting young people

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Tibshelf Parish Council was very concerned that tits wase not given an opportunity to respond to comments on the story that was published on the Chad website.

Tibshelf Parish Council has always, and will continue to be totally committed to supporting the young people in the parish and indeed stressed this again at the parish meeting held recently, when there was a protracted discussion about their desire to communicate and work more directly with the young people to develop a better understanding of the reasoning behind decisions and how solutions could be reached for the benefit of all concerned.

It is quite correct that the young people have approached the parish council about the use of a facility in the parish.

The facility in question was developed as a small meeting room for seated meetings, tutorials, seminars etc. The parish council has debated this matter in great detail and determined that the small size of the room made it totally unsuitable for the proposed use by the young people, and safety and security could be a real issue as activity outside the building could be very difficult to manage due to its location adjacent to an expansive open recreational area.

The parish council has a responsibility to consider the safety of users of its facilities and had grave concerns that this facility simply could not meet the needs of the group.

The parish council has been informed by the youth group committee and appreciate that the youth club would be run on the basis of a maximum membership of 25 young people. However they have legitimate concerns that this would potentially exclude a large number of young people who want access to a youth club. This has been demonstrated by the petition the council received from the young people which was signed by more than 70 young people who would like a youth club.

Young people from both the senior and junior schools of Tibshelf are pictured in your article – there are around 1,000 pupils attending both those schools so it is almost certain that many young people could be affected by a maximum membership criteria being applied, as well as the facility not being viable. Tibshelf Parish Council is an equal opportunities council and therefore offering a facility of 25 would not be inclusive.

The parish council is totally committed to supporting the development of a youth club and has demonstrated this by suggesting a variety of different options, including pledging a £500 donation as substantial financial support to the project, partnering accommodation with the Scouts and Guides and the offer of voluntary adult supervision if this was needed.

There is a large village hall in Tibshelf which would be ideal for the use.

There was availability at one point on a Friday evening but we understand that the youth group committee and young people had determined that they only wanted to meet on a Monday evening.

The parish council recognises that current facilities are oversubscribed and cannot meet all the demands that are presenting themselves. Consequently its is currently working on a project to extend, expand and improve facilities and has determined that the need to have assets dedicated to youth activity is a priority.

E. R. Price

Parish Clerk/RFO

Tibshelf Parish Council