July 26, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea youth club's future saved by council's £3,500 boost

The future of Burnham-On-Sea's Zone Youth Club has been saved this week thanks to a new £3,500 cash injection from the Town Council.

As first reported by last November, the club - based at the BAY Centre in Cassis Close - was set to shut when its original funding ran out.

However, the council then temporarily extended its funding and the club has since formed a new management committee and undertaken fundraising.

Members of the Town Council's Policy and Finance Committee this week debated the group's new application for £3,500 towards new projects for young people to learn new skills.

Cllr Martin Cox said: "They do a great job - I'm very supportive of the BAY Centre's projects and groups."

Clrl Peter Burridge-Clayton added: "I would support that suggestion, but would like to see another similiar youth club in Highbridge being treated the same and getting the same level of funding too."

Cllr Phil Harvey said: "Each group's application should be considered on its merits - we can't consider other groups who haven't yet applied for funding."

Cllr John Parkes added: "There's £5,000 in our budget for youth provision, so I say give this group the full amount. They provide a safe, educational environment, do a lot of good work, and deserve our support."

Cllr Andy Brewer agreed, saying: "I find this application to be very encouraging application. The latest statistics from the group show they have 50 regular members and they do great work. I also like that the total cost of the project is £6,000 and they have other funding coming from fundraising and other grants. As our Mayor said recently that helping youths is our theme for the year, I fully support this application."

But Cllr Janet Keen said: "£3,500 is a great deal to give from our budget so early on in our financial year for a group that has 20 people attending some sessions - I'm supportive of the group, but reluctant to hand over £3,500."

But Cllr Kate Lawson responded: "The amount is not too much at all to help our youth community - they are doing a lot of great work, and fundraising themselves."

Cllr David Hogarth added: "It is very disappointing that no-one from the group is here to respond." The clerk explained that a representative had been invited but had been unable to attend.

Councillors voted in favour of awarding the grant - with six members in favour, one councillor against and two abstaining. The decision is subject to the agreement of the full town council at its next meeting in early September.

Speaking afterwards, the youth group's David Sinclair told "We are very grateful for this grant from the Town Council and will continue to invest in the youth work we are doing in Burnham."

"Now we are run by the parents themselves, we can make sure every penny goes directly into the youth work in Burnham-On-Sea."


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