Blow for plans to build new centre for young people

Les Slow near the proposed site, on the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field, where Young People Count hopes to build a new centre.

Les Slow near the proposed site, on the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field, where Young People Count hopes to build a new centre.

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A charity which supports young people in Pocklington and the surrounding area has revealed plans for a new centre on a playing field in the town, but the proposals have already been dealt a major blow.

Young People Count wants a modular building, which would cost in excess of £40,000, to be sited on the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field, on West Green.

However, Pocklington Town Council’s lands and property committee discussed the plans recently and was against the proposed new centre being built on the field. But the council agreed to discuss the scheme again, after a lively debate took place at its last full council meeting, which was attended by trustees of Young People Count and youngsters from the area.

Young People Count trustee Les Slow spoke at the full council meeting, saying: “We are trying to find a way of helping young people find a way forward. They are a great bunch of kids who we work with. There would be nowhere else to go if we were not there.

“Until we have got planning permission and a plan in place we cannot apply for anymore grants.

“We are asking for your [Pocklington Town Council] support that we put up a modular building on West Green. It makes so much sense to put it next to the skatepark, as they have done in Driffield and Bridlington.

“We have come to the conclusion we need our own premises. The only way we could afford that is a modular building that is portable.”

In response, Mayor of Pocklington, councillor Paul West, said: “We have already discussed this at last month’s lands and property meeting. As much as we support this, the general consensus was we didn’t support the building going on West Green. We didn’t want to encourage building down there.”

Councillor Graham Perry strongly supported the plans, and during the full council meeting tried to make a proposal that the council should “receive the report from Les and accept it and support young people as much as possible and to put this type of accommodation in this type of area.”

He added: “There is no other outfit doing anything like this. That would convince me that we should do as much as we reasonably can to support them [Young People Count].” Coun Perry was told that the issue was not on the meeting’s agenda and therefore the council could not vote on it.

Young People Count has been running a centre and cafe, which is attended by around 40 youngsters each week, at the former Oddfellows Arms pub, on Union Street. However, the pub looks set to be brought back into use as a bar and restaurant as part of a larger town centre development, meaning the charity needs to find a new home.

The town council is due to meet yesterday (18 March) to discuss the charity’s plans again. See next week’s Pocklington Post for a report of the meeting.