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Sydenham youth club fears leaving its home
A YOUTH club in Sydenham faces being pushed out of its base of 20 years after a county council service moved in.
Somerset County Council’s Learning Disabilities Day Service for Sedgemoor moved into the council-owned Rollercoaster youth centre building in Sydenham on June 5.
Rollercoaster youth club was hoping to re-open there at the beginning of June but is still unable to move back into its building.
Cllr Ian Tucker, who has been working with the Rollercoaster club, said: “SCC has pulled out of youth provision, but gave £40k to Bridgwater Town Council as compensation to cover a transitional period for the Rollercoaster to find a provider for two years for it to carry on.
“Youth Unlimited has been selected as that provider but it has been taking such a long time to go through red tape that Youth Unlimited has now suggested moving the youth service into Saxon Green church in Sydenham.
“Also, they’ve been told they would need to pay just under £900 a year for storage if they were to run the youth service at the Rollercoaster as there is not enough room for youth equipment now the disability service has moved into the building. Plus they’d need to pay £30 rent a night.
“People at the Rollercoaster club feel like they are being pushed out of their home, which was allocated for youth provision, and are desperate to open in time for the summer holidays.
“The council has lost sight of the building’s original purpose and it seems to be putting all sorts of barriers up.
“This place was built for the youth of Sydenham.
“The police are concerned that if young people have nowhere to go it could lead to anti-social behaviour.”
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are aware of the situation and negotiations to find a suitable solution are on-going.”
The town council will be meeting to discuss the best way to keep the service going.