‘We can’t afford to lose centre’

Winslow Youth Club,Avenue Road.'110809M-B360
Winslow Youth Club,Avenue Road.'110809M-B360

WINSLOW Town Council is looking at whether it could take over responsibility for the lease on the town’s youth centre, after volunteers found themselves struggling with red tape.

Mayor of Winslow Llew Monger and town clerk Bridget Bradford are meeting with Bucks County Council (BCC) today, Friday, to discuss the possibility of taking on the youth centre lease.

The Youth Centre Management Committee, which is the group of volunteers dedicated to trying to ensure a future for the town’s youth centre, asked for help at the town council meeting this month.

The committee’s chairman, Peter Alsford, resigned a few weeks ago.

Wendy Castle, who represents the town council on the management committee, said the group felt unable to sign up to the lease agreement put forward by the county council.

She said: “The long and the short of it is, I haven’t been happy with the responsibilities that are being asked of volunteers. I can’t actually tell my colleagues to sign up to this.

“It will only work if the town council is prepared to take over the management of the youth centre, leaving the management committee to sort out the youth provision.”

Councillor Monger had earlier reported on the similar problem faced by another voluntary group, the Friends of Winslow Library, who had been sent a 32-page resources grant agreement and a 29-page lease to wade through.

“Frankly, it’s making people think, do we really want to do this?” said Mr Monger. “Individuals are being asked to take on huge responsibilities.”

But he added: “It’s vital we try to maintain a youth facility in the town. The police are really anxious the facility is maintained.”

Town councillors agreed. Councillor Harry Chambers said: “I don’t think we’ve got any alternative. The town can’t afford to lose this.”

Councillor Monger told the Advertiser: “This is not community involvement. It’s going far beyond what people expected.

“The responsibility for the property is proving to be difficult for the group, hence my suggestion the town council could step forward.”