Unpopular youth shelter in Clitheroe faces the axe

The youth shelter on Henthorn Road in Clitheroe.
The youth shelter on Henthorn Road in Clitheroe.
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A youth shelter which residents argue is facilitating anti-social behaviour could be removed.

Installed several years ago on Henthorn Road in Clitheroe as part of Lancashire County Council’s youth work programme, the shelter, following budget cuts and youth workers having less of a presence in the local community, has become a hub for anti-social behaviour.

And now, Ribble Valley Borough Council chiefs are asking elected members whether it should be pulled down.

Mark Beveridge, head of cultural and leisure services at the borough council, in a report to the community services committee, said: “Although LCC still provide some youth work in Clitheroe, it is limited as a result of budget savings made over the past several years.

"At the time of installation there were outreach youth workers who would engage with the young people who gathered at the shelter and they would have worked with them on diversionary activities. In the absence of youth workers working directly in the community the shelter has now become a source of considerable anti-social behaviour.”

He added: “The youth shelter is not popular with local residents who have raised numerous concerns about the behaviour of users of the shelter, both during the day and in the evenings, together with the mess which is left each day in and around the shelter.

"In response to these concerns, the council are currently visiting the shelter area three times per week to help ensure the Henthorn Road area is kept as clean and tidy as possible, removing litter, bottles, cans and drug related paraphernalia.”

Despite the problems associated with the shelter, there are fears that removing it could result in the anti-social behaviour being moved to another part of town and those young people who use it feeling that their voice is not being heard.

Mr Beveridge added: “The parents of the young people, who are causing the issues, appear to be unaware of their behaviour or are uninterested. The police have sought to intervene, though with limited success.”

The issue will be discussed at the community services committee meeting on Tuesday evening.