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Cyprus Hall

Burgess Hill Town Council Treating The Effects And Not The Cause Of Anti-Social Behaviour By Youths

8th August 2012
By Peter Chapman

Cool your jets young people, this is a piece in support of you. Please continue reading....

At the full meeting of Burgess Hill Town Council on July 30th the council considered a request from the Cyprus Hall management committee for funding towards the construction of a new rear entrance to the building. This is because youths have been hanging around in the rear porch and gaining illegal entry to the building.

Cyprus Hall Rear EntranceThe cost of the project will be £3.5k - half of which the town council will fund via the much scrutinized section 106 money.

Friend of Burgess Hill Uncovered, Chris French, attended the meeting, here's what he had to say...
"The idea of the Town Council spending £3.5k on enclosing the rear entrance to Cyprus hall to prevent young people from gathering there, is just treating the symptom and not the cause. All it will do is probably move the young people along to somewhere else."

The cause of why young people gather at the rear of Cyprus Hall is quite simple. I have spoken to some of these young people and they tell me there is nothing for kids of their age to do in the town centre. This is of course true. I therefore asked Pru Moore, Conservative Cabinet Member for Leisure, at the Town Council meeting on 30/7/12 , just what steps the Town Council will be taking to address this underlying cause. Pru Moore’s deeply worrying reply was along the rather complacent lines of “Oh we do so much already, we’ve spent a huge amount of money on St John’s Park”.

Cllr Pru Moore claiming lots of money has been spent on St Johns Park is a daft response! She must think that it's little children hanging around at Cyprus Hall of an evening seeking some shelter. But hey, this is Pru Moore, stupid answers is all you get.

Cllr Anne Jones also spoke on the issue saying that young people are a priority for the town council,
but that the reduction in youth provision by West Sussex County Council was having an effect locally.

These answers are such a cop out by the councillors. Yes WSCC cut youth funding, but there are so many things that our local councillors could be doing to provide for those young people of Burgess Hill that don't like skating or the idea of joining a structured club.

Queens Crescent Play AreaQueens Crescent Park
The council recently made some enhancements to the Queens Crescent play area using money from the sale of land at Oakmeeds where the young children's playground once stood.

A member of the Burgess Hill Uncovered Facebook Page had this comment to make..
"Well Queens Crescent was looking good , but unfortunately every time I go down there it is full of teens sitting all over the play equipment having a smoke ! I have nothing against teenagers in parks but it's a bit awkward having to ask them to move everytime your 5 year old wants to go on anything !"

What we have now is two very different age groups trying to co-exist in the same space. The council should have forseen this issue and not been so quick to merge the two parks.

The Solution
The government bang on about 'the big society' i.e people doing things for free. So why don't the council produce a paper detailing:

Park Centre Youth Club1.The opportunities available to the people of Burgess Hill to help provide informal sessions for young people and the requirements i.e training, CRB checks.

2. A list of a community buildings controlled by BHTC and MSDC which could be used to provide somewhere for young peple to use if supervised by some adults.

Take the Park Centre building for example, it's not utilised as much in the evenings since West Sussex County Council axed the funding. With some community involvement it could provide more sessions.

Councillors may be interested to know that adults on the Burgess Hill Uncovered Facebook page have expressed an interest in helping out with the young people in the town.

The ball is in the court of Burgess Hill Town Council. If they don't want to provide for the youths of Burgess Hill that just wish to 'hang out', then the council need to help the rest of the community to take that ball and run with it.

If you have an interest in the young people of Burgess Hill and would consider giving up some of your time to provide for them, then please get in touch webmaster@burgesshilluncovered.co.uk

Did you find this news story useful? Please share it with your friends.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
What would you do to provide for the young people of Burgess Hill? Are the council to blame for not making the public aware of the opportunuities available for us to help? Should the council look to install some Youth Shelters around the town in order to reduce anti-social behaviour? Young People, what would you like to see provided?

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