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Open forum called over village youth

Posted on October 18 2009 at 2:21:53

The focus is back on the youth of Alvechurch after complaints about bad behaviour prompted police and council chiefs to call a public open forum.

Meanwhile, plans for a teenager drop-in centre are moving ahead and gathering support.

The Alvechurch PACT meeting was told by local policing sergeant Ben Hembry there had been a “fateful weekend” on September 25-26 when “a number of youths”, many from outside the area, descended on “the MUGA in Swan’s Length park.

“The level of antisocial behaviour on this weekend was totally unacceptable,” added Sgt Hembry, who said the police and district council were to hold a forum about “these issues”.

A number of residents living near the park complained of antisocial incidents, with one likening the youngsters to “rats running around tunnels”.

Sgt Hembry said: “These are not rats, they are your young people.” To which another resident replied: “They are scum.”

One resident asked if the forum would consider removing the MUGA and Sgt Hembry assured him: “Nothing has been decided upon, that’s the idea of the forum.”

But another resident complained: “The idea of this forum is to take the wind out of our sails.”

A date and venue for the meeting had not been set when The Village went to press.

Earlier last month, the teenager drop-in centre plan was outlined to the Alvechurch Neighbourhood Partnership, whose members were very supportive. Detailed costings were discussed, including the estimated £30,000 refurbishment of the parish rooms in School Lane.

The village mums behind the plan aim to start once-a-week meetings in Alvechurch Social Club before Christmas where they can work with the teenagers to find out what they want. If the financing fell into place, they would like to start work on the School Lane site by February next year.

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