‘Way forward is clearer’ for club thanks to lease

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THE future of Winslow’s Youth Centre is looking more secure, with a peppercorn rent agreed for the next 25 years.

On Monday, May 9, Bucks County Council (BCC) cabinet agreed to provide 25-year leases at peppercorn rents to 15 youth projects operating in council-owned premises – including Winslow Youth Centre, in Avenue Road – with breaks at five-year intervals.

This will now pave the way for the Winslow Youth Centre Management Committee to apply for transitional funding, both for maintaining the building for use by the various community groups and for employing one or more youth workers for the Tuesday evening youth club.

The committee was formed of volunteers wanting to find a way of keeping Winslow’s youth club open, after the county council announced in January it intended to cease funding or staffing its network of youth centres.

BCC has agreed to provide a youth leader for the Winslow club’s Tuesday night session until the end of the summer term.

Earlier this week, members of the management committee met Vic Green of BCC and Lynda Cockerell of Action4Youth, a voluntary youth organisation for clubs in Bucks and Milton Keynes, to discuss the way forward.

Committee member Peter Alsford said: “It was the first meeting we have had as a committee to meet representatives of Bucks County Council and truly talk about things.

“We came away feeling quite positive. We feel we can see a progressive path for the committee being able to take over the building from the county council. Before it was a bit nebulous.”

He said Action4Youth had given the committee a lot of support and would help it through the process of negotiating with the county council.

He said: “We’re getting assistance from Action4Youth, we know what we need to do to meet the requirements of the county council. Now we’ve just got to get on and do it.

“The way forward is clearer and it’s full steam ahead.”

The committee is meeting on Monday to plan the next stages and will be making every effort to have everything in place to take on its additional responsibilities from September 1.

The management is still in need of more volunteers.

Call Mr Alsford on 01296 713569 or email peteralsford@msn.com