Bid to start Thetford youth club

Charities, businesses and social enterprise groups have been invited to submit a proposal to deliver a new youth club in Thetford.

The town council intends to establish a weekly group for young people which will initially run for a four-month trial period.

Officials are now hoping to hear from anyone who is in a position to launch the project as soon as possible, with a proposal which should include the anticipated cost to deliver the service.

The club would initially run at the Carnegie Room from November 1 to the end of March 2012, when it would be reviewed by the council's amenities committee. It may then be continued on a year by year basis, subject to approval from the full council.

The initiative was first mooted by town councillor for the Saxon ward, Terry Jermy, at a recent town council meeting who stressed the importance of facilities for young people in the town.


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Speaking after the meeting, Mr Jermy said: 'Despite the fact that 25pc of Thetford is under 16 we have always lacked in activities for young people.

'This has been compounded recently with the loss of the Norfolk Youth Service, Connexions and the closure of the Thetford Pupil Referral Unit.

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'Young people locally often cannot afford to access many activities, or are restricted because of transport limitations. As a community we desperately need to provide affordable and accessible opportunities for young people to socialise, undertake informal learning and widen their horizons. This new youth club will do just that.'

The idea came about following a reallocation of the council's youth fund at a meeting in July at which councillors agreed a yearly budget of �10,000 to be used for the town's young people.

But there were some concerns put forward over the council table.

Bryan Skull, town councillor for the Guildhall ward, voiced concerns about the safety of young people in the Carnegie Room, while Castle ward councillor Terry Lamb said he was concerned at the cost to the town council.

Mr Lamb added: 'Increasingly this council is taking on more and more and there's a cost to that. This council does not have the access to central funds the district or county councils do.'

Despite this a motion was passed to invite groups to tender for the proposal.

Guildhall ward member, John Harding, added: 'I think we're at the stage where we're not going to get any help at county of district level and it's about time this council took responsibility for their own. It's time we took responsibility for our town and people.'

If all goes to plan, the youth club would be held in the upstairs rooms at the Carnegie Room one night a week between Monday and Thursday with an entrance fee of 50p. All current bookings would be upheld.

Proposals should be received by 5pm on October 10 for them to be reviewed by the council's amenities committee the next day.

Proposals should be sent to Susan Glossop, Town Manager, Thetford Town Council, Kings House, Kings Street, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2AP, or emailed to susanglossop@thetfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

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