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Report puts young people at centre of community's future

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Councillor Eleanor Jackson

Councillor Eleanor Jackson

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The future of Radstock depends on getting the young people of the town more involved in the community, according to a new report.

The Radstock Youth Partnership document, presented to Bath and North East Somerset Council this week, says that the younger generation are the key if the town is to survive as a sustainable and close-knit community.

But while young people want to become more involved in activities within the area, many of them feel unsafe in certain parts of Radstock with some worried about going out after dark because of dimly lit alleyways and the lack of pavements.

More than a third of young people said they are too afraid to go out after dark, and more than two-thirds said they "sometimes feel unsafe".

The report says that young people hang about in the centre of Radstock with little to occupy themselves and can disturb neighbours or fall prey to drug dealers.

The town has an active youth hub where young people can drop in to take part in activities but teenagers say that a lack of public transport after 5pm leaves them isolated.

The partnership was formed three years ago as part of campaign to save youth services and is made up of representatives from across the community who work with members of Radstock's youth hub to support teenagers.

Ward councillor Eleanor Jackson said the report showed how successful the work had been.

But she added there was still work to be done to make sure young people in Norton-Radstock had support, opportunities and activities.

Dr Jackson told her fellow B&NES councillors: "I could emphasise all the negatives, but there are also a lot of unexceptional children, who haven't had any problems, but it only takes a divorce to tip a family into darkness.

"There have been an awful lot of substantial achievements.

"We hope you are going to further support this work."

She said all children aged between 13 and 19 should be able to access a youth programme.

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