'Safe space' youth centre to open in Pendle
The Colne Youth Action Group has been launched to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town,
The charity, which is in negotiations with Lancashire County Council to lease the former Youth Zone on Byron Road, has been formed in response to increasing levels of anti-social behaviour since the first lockdown.
It will serve young people from Colne, Foulridge, Trawden and Laneshaw Bridge.
Colne Coun. Sarah Cockburn-Price is chairman of the group which has also received backing from Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and the local police.
“It became apparent that while there are great clubs in Colne for young people who join in activities that interest them, such as cricket and swimming or at our theatres and music venues, there are few just pitch-up-and-give-it-a-go activities for the vast majority”, said Coun. Cockburn-Price."
PC Dave Cleal commented: “This demise of facilities has been reflected in the increase in police logs which relate to anti-social behaviour, the majority of which are created by youths aged in the 10 to 17 age brackets. This not only impacts on the resources of police, but more importantly, it impacts massively on the affected communities.”
Restorative Justice campaigner, Margaret Foxley, said: “These young people need to reconnect with our community and we have founded CYAG to give them physical and mental outlets. We want them to turn away from all this anti-social behaviour and engage with us.
"We will help them to understand that actions have consequences, but that there are better things to be doing with their time, anyway.”
Pendle’s MP, Andrew Stephenson, commented: “Recent contact from my constituents has highlighted a problem with anti-social behaviour with youths in this area, which I feel may be exacerbated through boredom of 'nowhere to go, nothing to do'.
“As families within Pendle struggle through employment, financial and wellbeing issues, I think it would greatly benefit the youth of these families in having a safe space outside of the family unit where they may attend to gain additional support, or simply socialise with others.”