Deal to save Shoebury Youth Centre

Southend Standard: Councillor Roger Hadley outside the centre Councillor Roger Hadley outside the centre

COUNCIL chiefs are on the verge of accepting a school’s offer to help restore a £2.9million youth centre which had been virtually abandoned.

Southend Council’s children and lifelong learning scrutiny committee will sit down on Monday night to decide whether to team up with Shoeburyness High School and other community groups to find a way forward for Shoebury Youth Centre.

The Echo revealed in September that the state-of-the-art facility, which was opened by Countdown star Rachel Riley amid a huge fanfare in July 2010, had been left to rot as it became a haven for teenage louts and vandals.

But bosses insist they have worked hard to change the situation since it came to light and now plan to accept the offer of Mark Schofield, headteacher at Shoeburyness, to help.

Sue Cook, the council’s corporate director of children and learning, said: “The recommended way forward in the short to mid-term is to establish a steering group, which will be independently chaired, to continue to build on the interest and sustain further expanded useage.

“This steering group will include key community groups, including Shoeburyness High School and the Shoebury and Thorpe Bay Baptist Church.”

Teenagers in Shoebury spent two years drawing up plans for the youth centre, which was funded by the Big Lottery Fund, in collaboration with Connexions.

When it opened, the building featured regular volunteering workshops, band rehearsals and a restaurant run by the YMCA.

But the facilities have fallen out of use, largely because of the number of employees required to staff them.

When the scale of the problem emerged at a scrutiny committee meeting in September, Mr Schofield offered council chiefs a deal in which the school’s pupils would use the centre, in return for supplying staff to police it.

The new steering group will be responsible for looking for ways to increase the number of people using the centre and keeping them there.

If it is approved, it will be set up by the end of month and report back to councillors every six months.

Mr Schofield was unavailable for comment.

Comments (3)

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9:07pm Fri 23 Nov 12

echoforum says...

Dear Council.
Please learn from this dogs-dinner of a project.If your going to attempt to embark on a major social project like this then make sure your up to it.
Yes, you've spent big money building it but clearly the vision stopped at this point.
Yes,believe it or not a project like this will need STAFF and Yes,you will have drugs,thieving and vandalism because thats the reason you're building it ...your trying to steer the above away from their anti-social path..and Yes ,it will be challenging at first but you're not gonna reap the rewards unless you staff it with professionals that are willing to go the extra mile..with a budget to match.
This **** up only reveals the talent and vision free council for what they are...PANTS
Dear Council. Please learn from this dogs-dinner of a project.If your going to attempt to embark on a major social project like this then make sure your up to it. Yes, you've spent big money building it but clearly the vision stopped at this point. Yes,believe it or not a project like this will need STAFF and Yes,you will have drugs,thieving and vandalism because thats the reason you're building it ...your trying to steer the above away from their anti-social path..and Yes ,it will be challenging at first but you're not gonna reap the rewards unless you staff it with professionals that are willing to go the extra mile..with a budget to match. This **** up only reveals the talent and vision free council for what they are...PANTS echoforum

6:12am Sat 24 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

echoforum wrote:
Dear Council.
Please learn from this dogs-dinner of a project.If your going to attempt to embark on a major social project like this then make sure your up to it.
Yes, you've spent big money building it but clearly the vision stopped at this point.
Yes,believe it or not a project like this will need STAFF and Yes,you will have drugs,thieving and vandalism because thats the reason you're building it ...your trying to steer the above away from their anti-social path..and Yes ,it will be challenging at first but you're not gonna reap the rewards unless you staff it with professionals that are willing to go the extra mile..with a budget to match.
This **** up only reveals the talent and vision free council for what they are...PANTS
Don't give it to the council! A sure fire accident waiting to happen, and when it all goes wrong they will blame someone else!
[quote][p][bold]echoforum[/bold] wrote: Dear Council. Please learn from this dogs-dinner of a project.If your going to attempt to embark on a major social project like this then make sure your up to it. Yes, you've spent big money building it but clearly the vision stopped at this point. Yes,believe it or not a project like this will need STAFF and Yes,you will have drugs,thieving and vandalism because thats the reason you're building it ...your trying to steer the above away from their anti-social path..and Yes ,it will be challenging at first but you're not gonna reap the rewards unless you staff it with professionals that are willing to go the extra mile..with a budget to match. This **** up only reveals the talent and vision free council for what they are...PANTS[/p][/quote]Don't give it to the council! A sure fire accident waiting to happen, and when it all goes wrong they will blame someone else! Olivia2847

9:05pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Welsh Woman says...

The people who currently work at this centre are ALL there because they want the best for the children of the area. Mark Schofield is a genuine person, who believes in the children of Shoebury. Good luck. This is support that is needed in this area, support it or lose it.
The people who currently work at this centre are ALL there because they want the best for the children of the area. Mark Schofield is a genuine person, who believes in the children of Shoebury. Good luck. This is support that is needed in this area, support it or lose it. Welsh Woman

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