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Leader denies claims over youth boredom in Verwood
Councillor Spencer Flower responded to complaints from members of the public who said there is little for youngsters in the town to do, as reported in Thursday’s Daily Echo.
Residents’ accusations came after police announced earlier this week that they will use dispersal powers under Section 30 of the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 following a rise in bad behaviour and criminal damage in the town.
Many people suggested that the plans will target youngsters with nowhere else to go.
Cllr Flower said: “If you put provision in and it’s organised, they [young people] will not use it.
“They want to hang around and I don’t mind that as long as they don’t misbehave. Alcohol can be a part of it, and the shops have a means of controlling that as they have the names of underage drinkers. I have to give full credit to the police because they are doing a thoroughly good job in Verwood.”
The councillor lives in Aggis Farm in the town, and said Verwood is a “great place to live”.
“I’m not going to stigmatise the younger generation,” he said.
“A lot of them are great kids, but there are always a few who want to cause trouble.”
He said crime figures in Verwood are “incredibly low”, adding: “There are lots of facilities for young people in the town.
“Emmanuel School has a youth club with a permanent youth worker. There’s Potterne Park, a BMX track, a skate bowl, all put in over the last few years.
“There’s an Astroturf pitch and a multi-use games area that opened this summer.
“We’ve also got a sports hall opening at the end of the month and The Hub, although I appreciate there’s less for young people there, so there are endless things for people to do in Verwood, and that’s people of all ages. It’s unfair to suggest otherwise.”
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