Published:
November 24, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea youth club to close as council funding runs out

A popular Burnham-On-Sea youth club is set to close at the end of the year when council funding runs out, it has emerged this week.

The Zone Youth Club, which is based at Burnham's BAY Centre, has been successfully running every Tuesday evening for over four years.

Vic Windsor, the youth club leader, said the children were all "very upset" when she broke the news to them this week.

The club is used by children age 11-19, with parents saying its numbers have "quadrupled during the last few months."

One parent, Jayne Lilley, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The club allows the children to be independent and it gives them a safe environment off the streets where they can make new friends and feel a part of something."

"Unfortunately, despite it's current success, the Town Council have decided they can no longer manage the club and it will close at Christmas."

She added: "We are still hopeful that by increasing publicity of this situation there may be a way that the club can be saved."

"The children get to engage in activities such as cooking, games, computers, consoles, quizzes and music. The children also have a say in how the club is run and play an important role in organizing activities."

Town councillors decided at their October meeting that the council would not give further funding to the youth club from the start of 2017.

They considered a letter from Somerset Rural Youth Project regarding Youth Club Provision after December 2016.

"Members were concerned about the cost of this," explained a Town Council spokesperson, adding that extra funding would be required to run the club.

"Councillors agreed unanimously not to proceed after Christmas and the Clerk was asked to write to SRYP and Somerset County Council to inform them of the council’s decision."

The Town Council's Policy and Finance Committee also considered the club's viability back in August when the Town Clerk reported that "the club has low numbers."

Jayne added: "The children really want their Youth Club to stay open and we asked them this week to give some reasons why we should stay open. These include: We are all kind to each other; We learn new things; We listen to great music that everyone enjoys; We laugh; We play games and sports to exercise; We always have great ideas to make it better; It's a time to spend off consoles; We make new friends; The leaders are hard working and give up their time; We have sweets and fruits and more tasty treats; We have great memories; We cook; and best of all we have fun."

 

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