Young people’s work scheme in Horndean could be under threat

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SUMMER work popular with teenagers in Horndean may not go ahead this year.

In the past the seasonal workers’ scheme has employed up to 15 young people to complete projects under the guidance of Horndean Parish Council staff.

This year it was planned that they would carry out fencing work on Catherington Down, but the council says this may not happen.

Council chairwoman Lynn Evans said: ‘We have had successful seasonal projects and we hope to again, but in regard to this year, we are undecided – no decision has been made one way or another.’

The authority receives a £2,162 grant to look after Catherington Down, but it is estimated the cost to fence it would be £7,195.

One suggestion is that the grant pays for materials and council countryside wardens carry out the work without help from teenagers.

But Liz Russell, whose sons helped build boardwalks and fence land at Dell Piece West under last year’s initiative, said the scheme should be saved.

She said: ‘The council has done a fantastic service to the youth in the community, with this scheme providing them with invaluable skills to further themselves in the world.

‘They have developed a work ethic, a sense of responsibility and a pride in their community thanks to the hard work of the countryside rangers and those who made it possible for it take place.

‘It is disturbing to see such a worthwhile scheme is in jeopardy.’

Cllr Evans added: ‘As soon as we have decided if the scheme will, or won’t, go ahead this year we will advertise our decision.’