Category: Young People

Shropshire Council closes Ludlow Youth Centre – it should hang its head in shame

“Shropshire Council has all but disowned the young people in this county. That’s a disgrace.” That’s the view of Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East after a cabinet meeting this morning. Tracey had asked a series of questions to the council’s cabinet today. Shropshire Council failed to give a guarantee that Ludlow Youth Centre will reopen but said it hoped it might be used for community purposes in the future. It would not guarantee that the Youth Centre, valued at £851,000 on its books, will not be sold to help plug its growing gap in capital finances. It would not guarantee that Ludlow Youth Centre will reopen for young people. That’s it then. A process begun in 2014 with the full support of our local MP has led to closure of Ludlow Youth Centre. What do we do now?

“Give us back our Youth Centre!” Protest at Ludlow Youth Centre Tuesday 3.30pm. Please come

Shropshire Council has absurdly restricted indoor youth activities of Ludlow Youth Centre to three people. That is of course impractical as it means indoor youth sessions are restricted to one young person and the required two youth workers. Is this is a move to close the Youth Centre to youth activities? It is beginning to look like the endgame for the Youth Centre. Shropshire Council has already transferred the music room and breakout rooms to commercial and other services. Now, it is putting obstacles in the way of reopening the building to youth use. We are calling on friends and users of Youth Centre to join a protest next Tuesday, 7 September, at 3.30pm at the Youth Centre. Photographers from local media are due at 3.45pm and 4.00pm. We hope you will join us.

Tracey Huffer to ask Shropshire Council cabinet to guarantee it will not sell Ludlow Youth Centre

Yesterday, we reported that Shropshire Council had restricted the number of young people allowed in Ludlow’s dedicated Youth Centre to just three people. Allowing for supervision, that’s a youth club of just one person. The council’s attitude is that the youth club cab be held outside no matter how bad the weather but not inside with the wide double doors open because the young people will get cold. Tracey Huffer aims to tackle this the Shropshire Council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday. To do achieve this, she has tabled a written question, including asking for whether the council can give a guarantee that Ludlow Youth Centre will not be sold during the current administration.

Shropshire Council moves to shut down Ludlow Youth Centre by restricting youth club to three people

In this article, Tracey Huffer writes about the growing threat to Ludlow Youth Centre. That threat began in 2014, when Philip Dunne MP and the then portfolio holder for young people, Gwilym Butler, visited a youth club session to brief the youngsters about the decision to convert half the building into offices. Rarely have I seen two politicians so out of their comfort zone and that evening reduced the political stature of both men.   But that was the start of Shropshire Council’s campaign to reduce the use of Ludlow Youth Centre and now, we fear, to close it all together. Over the last seven years, the council has placed ever tighter restrictions on the use of the centre. At one point, council officers instructed that posters – many of which promoted youth health – should be taken down because posters are not allowed in “corporate buildings”. Now, Shropshire Council has restricted use of the remaining youth space to three people at any time. Allowing for the legally required level of supervision, that’s a youth club of one person. It took 25 years for Ludlow to get a dedicated Youth Centre for Ludlow. We must not lose it.

Talking BMX and skateboarding for Ludlow

We councillors are very conscious that the mental health and wellbeing of young people has suffered during the pandemic and its lockdowns. Some services and facilities were closed or in limited use. There was support online but it is not the same as face to face engagement. We intend to resume Ludlow Young Health drop in sessions later in the year. But, post-Olympics, we also need to look at sporting facilities for young people in Ludlow. People should not have to drive 30 miles to access decent facilities.

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