Campaign launched to safeguard Seaton youth fund

PUBLISHED: 14:51 11 January 2011

Sophie O'Connell wants people to help her save money raised for youth projects in Seaton

Sophie O'Connell wants people to help her save money raised for youth projects in Seaton

Archant

“Use it or lose it” challenge to £30,000 money raised for youth projects

A BATTLE has begun to safeguard money earmarked for youth projects in Seaton.

Campaigners say they are facing a “use it or lose it” challenge over the £30,000 fund.

Youth champion and town councillor Sophie O’Connell claims there are plans to take back the cash and use it for other council purposes.

Now she is urging residents to help her fight the move.

She said: “A year ago residents were asked what projects they wanted the town council to work on. Top came youth facilities, with the majority prepared to pay an extra £5 - £50-plus to see it come forward. The council settled on £10 per household, which brought in around £32,500.

“Of this, £3,000 was used to preserve the youth drop-In service at Seaton Library until March 2011.

“Now, just a year later, a suggestion has been made that the remaining £30,000 youth money will be removed so it can be spent on other unspecified council business.

“ I am asking Seaton to stand up and support me in ensuring this does not happen – not to let this be a forgotten generation.

“Either we should continue to raise £32,500 per year that could be kept in a separate bank account, gaining interest until we can build our own youth facility, or, failing that, the money should be distributed to local projects.”

Miss O’Connell says these could include improvements to the

skate park, the football club - to specifically encourage young players - and a “youth bus” which could be used as a temporary youth club. Or they could give the cash to local organisations currently working with young people.

She added: “It is our last chance to pull together as a community and do anything meaningful for young people in Seaton.”

Miss O’Connell wants people to pledge their support by January 20 so she can put her case at the town council meeting on January 24.

“A decision will then be taken then about whether we ‘use it or lose it’,” she added.

Mayor Bob Palacio said he was not aware of any specific challenge to the fund. But he fully supported using the money for its intended purpose.

** Contact Miss O’Connell at Mellstock, 1 Meadow Road, Seaton, EX12 2AS or email her at sophie.oconnell@sky.com Or comment on her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=264250145307


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