A LACK of youth facilities has been cited as an increasing concern by a Christchurch councillor after a teenage boy required hospital treatment following a large fight.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident in Burnett Avenue at the end of last month, which reportedly involved a large group of males aged in their teens and early 20s.

A 16-year-old boy was assaulted and taken to hospital with facial injuries.

Commons ward independent councillor Colin Bungey, who is part of the Unity Alliance BCP Council administration, said the lack of youth facilities was something the council had to “get to grips with”.

“There is a lack of police in Christchurch and I think that is a major issue for all councillors – we are all concerned about it,” said Cllr Bungey.

“I think the police and crime commissioner made a very good point recently in that the county council withdrew all their funding for youth facilities a year ago and there has been nowhere for young people to go.

“We have the club at Somerford and the Lighthouse, which is a private arrangement, but many of the facilities have gone and there is a reduced youth provision.”

Cllr Bungey said the problem was getting worse and the need for action was heightened by the issue of county lines drug dealing.

“If youngsters had somewhere to go to sit down with their friends, to chat, to play games and to have a drink and something to eat, it would encourage them not to be out and getting into trouble,” he added.

As a member of the Unity Alliance, Cllr Bungey is involved with delivering policy and decision making at BCP Council.

Asked what he planned to do on the issue of youth facilities, he said: “We have got our first budget over the line.

“I know members of the Unity Authority alliance have expressed concerns about youth provision within the conurbation but we will have to see what can be done because it is early days.

“In my opinion it is an urgent issue that needs looking at.”

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said no arrests had been made in relation to the fight in Burnett Avenue, which took place at around 10.30pm on Friday, February 28, and enquiries are ongoing.