LETTER: Sport helps young people get off streets in Padiham

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I WRITE to thank all who played a role or simply participated in the Dambusters project involvement in Padiham in 2010/2011.

Organised sport is a great way to get youngsters off street corners in the evenings and the numbers reported as regularly coming along are extremely encouraging.

Getting youngsters involved in something they enjoy is surely better than simply moving them on to congregate elsewhere.

I am currently discussing 2011/2012 funding for the project with my fellow Labour councillors in Gawthorpe ward and would be pleased to hear of any other funding streams available.

This anti-social behaviour strategy works on so many fronts so please encourage youngsters to come along.

Can I also thank the borough council officers, Linda Searle in particular, for how well the free “over 60s’ tea dance and information” afternoon went at Padiham Town Hall a few weeks ago and more recently the event at Sion Church Hall.

Having been one of the drivers of the idea I turned up with fingers crossed hoping our more mature residents might like to make new friends and, with people there like Help Direct, perhaps pick up some useful information.

I need not have worried, even though the publicity presented difficulties there was an excellent turnout of residents who seemed to be enjoying themselves and some good ideas and opinions were canvassed for next time. It’s so easy for our senior residents to become isolated and events like this are important, so thanks to all concerned. Please look out for the next event.

Sorry to end on a Victor Meldrew moment but I have just read an article on the Liberal/Conservative Government’s proposals to half the sentences for confessed rapists. Evidently the minimum sentence for rape is presently five years. This could be halved to 30 months and then with “good behaviour” the offender could be free after only 15 months in custody.

Surely this can’t be right. This Cameron/Clegg Liberal/Conservative alliance has dropped some clangers. We thought having aircraft carriers with no aeroplanes and reductions in student nurse training numbers was bad enough, but this takes the biscuit.

Coun. Andy Tatchell

Gawthorpe Ward