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Thursday January 28 2021

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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on October 23 2012 at 3:00:24

In the face of impending cost-cutting in the police force, it would be understandable if officers tried to inflate the problems we face in our communities.

It is commendable, then, that the Alvechurch Community Support Officer told a PACT meeting he’d had “a very easy summer”.

Apart from dealing with the odd spate of burglaries of the sort we have seen over the past month and villagers leaving their car engines running on frosty mornings, his job involves keeping youngsters under control so the more sensitive among us don’t feel threatened.

Only the “problem” youngsters appear to have grown up and gone away, according to the CSO, and haven’t been replaced by a new batch.

Readers may remember that one of the main aims of The Lounge youth project in Alvechurch was to socialise youngsters before they grew to an age when they might cause trouble.

It could be a fluke and there just haven’t happened to be any bad lads in the pipeline, but it looks like The Lounge has worked a treat and any potential troublemakers really have been made to feel they belong and that hanging around scaring older people isn’t such a clever idea after all.

The general gentrification of the area over the past decade has probably helped, too, but if ever anything could be judged to be a success, The Lounge is it.

This is already recognised by the community which helped to bring it to fruition. At a “diagnostic workshop” last month, everyone was there, from council leaders to the parish rector, all building Lego representations of how they would like The Lounge to develop over the next three years.

Meanwhile, a county council-administered fund has, thankfully, come up with some money – around £35,000 of the £51,000 that had been sought – for the next two and a half years on top of the £20,000 Bromsgrove added to the pot at the end of the summer.

This all sounds a lot, but for the value it brings the community, it is incredibly cheap. And it is still far from enough. The Lounge has asked us to get the message across that even with this financial help, youth activities will have to be reduced unless everyone chips in to raise more.

Here at The Village, we’re going to do what we can, starting by publishing a charity Village Walks calendar for sale over Christmas (details next issue) and we hope to come up with more ideas over the coming year.

And if we can help any readers publicise their efforts for The Lounge, just let us know – it’s what we’re here for!


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