What next for Youth House, Nailsea?
By Carol_Deacon | Monday, March 11, 2013, 13:27
Town councillors in Nailsea are worried they could lose the town centre youth base which they rent from the district council.
From this to...
..this. The future is looking grey!
Nailsea Town Council has been running three weekly youth sessions at Youth House in the High Street for the past year but has no rights on the property.
The town council was forced to take over responsibility after North Somerset Council withdrew its funding for the district's youth service last April.
The council earmarks £22,000 a year to provide sessions at Youth House, with each attracting around 30 youngsters.
But the former butcher's shop is owned and managed by North Somerset Council which inherited the property from Avon County Council in a local government reorganisation.
It was originally compulsory purchased by Somerset County Council when new town Nailsea was on the drawing board and demolish of the High Street was the plan..
As the district council is currently facing making savings of £90 million over seven years concerns have been raised about its long term future of the premises.
The building is also currently used by the town's children centre and a youth orchestra.
Town councillors said Youth House was a recognised base for local youngsters and said if it closed, it would force teens out onto the streets.
They said if guarantees could be made about the future of the building, the council could consider spending money on additional equipment and services.
Town councillors are now planning to write to North Somerset to get a guarantee over the future of the building.
Nailsea Town Council clerk, Ian Morrell, said: "The youth services we commission are working well and we are keen for them to continue.
"But we do have concerns about the long term availability of the building itself.
"We want to get some sort of security of tenure for the building.
"Although some of the work which is being done is not based at the building we are convinced there needs to be a base available for a youth club.
"The council is now to approach North Somerset and ask for a formal agreement for the use of Youth House."
Town and parish councils across the district have been forced to step in and earmark cash to keep youth services running following the decision by North Somerset to withdraw its funding.
Other communities in North Somerset includidng Clevedon and Portishead have purpose built youth centres which are in the ownership of local trusts and/or churches.
Nailsea did have the MYCON (Methodist Youth Club of Nailsea) but when its £22,065 annual grant was withdrawn by North Somerset Council the 40 year old centre closed in 2008.
- Community Interest Companies (CIC) have been set up in some areas to provide youth activities for young people. This has led to the youth service being replaced by a new community family service which will provide support to the 300 most vulnerable families - 900 children - across the district. The new service will deliver targeted, intensive work with families in partnership with health services, adult care and employment services. Authority leaders say the new service will take a more targeted approach to vulnerable young people, particularly those from multiple problem families.