Debate needed now about controversial youth shelter says Clitheroe councillor

The youth shelter is often left full of rubbish.
The youth shelter is often left full of rubbish.
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A borough councillor says she has been "bombarded" with emails and photos from concerned residents about a local youth shelter.

And in response to their concerns, Coun. Sue Hind, who represents the Edisford and Low Moor ward on Ribble Valley Borough Council, says she has asked officers to bring a report about the shelter, which is situated off Henthorn Road, back to committee as soon as possible.

The youth shelter off Henthorn Road.

The youth shelter off Henthorn Road.

"The shelter, opposite the convenience store on Henthorn Road, has been the subject of some lengthy discussions amongst the members of RVBC’s community committee in recent times," said Coun. Hind.

"It is frequented by young people who ignore the huge bins placed conspicuously three paces from the shelter and seem to delight in throwing their rubbish on to the ground, including glass bottles which obviously smash and cause a hazard for dogs and young children."

Coun. Hind added: "Primrose ward Councillor Mary Robinson sought a moratorium on the closure of the shelter on the last occasion it was on the community committee’s agenda, and the resulting vote was in favour of keeping it open. We saw a recent picture of Coun. Robinson wearing rubber gloves trying to clear the ground of dangerous debris in the New Year.

"I represent Edisford and Low Moor on the opposite side of Henthorn Road and I have been bombarded with concerned residents' emails and photographs which indicate to what extent the shelter is being abused. Many residents fear walking past it when it has young people in it.

"I have asked RVBC officers for the earliest opportunity we can bring this subject back to the table to discuss further, because I for one think that the residents should come first.

"They are tired of having this scourge in their vicinity; some have even commented that it has a detrimental effect on their house valuations."

There is a long history of anti-social behaviour in and around the youth shelter with calls made last January for the shelter, which was installed some years ago as part of Lancashire County Council’s youth work programme, to be pulled down.

It was subsequently given a six month reprieve by councillors who agreed action would be taken unless the situation improved. At a subsequent meeting of RVBC’s community services committee in May officers recommended removal of the shelter. However, councillors were concerned that if this happened the problem would just move somewhere else. Instead it was agreed that signs should be erected instructing those who use the shelter to keep it clean.

Coun. Robinson, who is pushing for these signs to be erected as soon as possible, previously told the Clitheroe Advertiser that she does not want to tarnish all young people with the same brush. She added that a small minority of young people are ruining things for the majority.