Young people tell councillors how to improve town

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COUNCILLORS were taken on a tour of Gosport led by young people who pointed out what they felt needed improving in the town.

Everything from untidy hostels to peeling paint and a lack of sports facilities was shown to the dignitaries, including Mayor of Gosport Cllr John Beavis, by the youth council.

VISIT From left, James Buckley, Clare Campbell, Carl Stanton, Cllr Peter Edgar, Tyler Palmer, Nathan Jamieson, Cllr John Beavis, Sam Mitchell, Jade Stanley, Michaela Toms, Amal Cali, Camron Adams

VISIT From left, James Buckley, Clare Campbell, Carl Stanton, Cllr Peter Edgar, Tyler Palmer, Nathan Jamieson, Cllr John Beavis, Sam Mitchell, Jade Stanley, Michaela Toms, Amal Cali, Camron Adams

Cllr Beavis said: ‘We may not be able to afford everything but there are certain things we can do and we can respond to the concerns of our young people.’

The tour is normally held annually, although last year it didn’t happen as the youth council was under threat after the county council withdrew funding.

The youth council has since gone into partnership with Gosport Borough Council and several youth organisations including Motiv8 and Loud and Proud.

Yesterday, it showed it was back in business by highlighting some of the areas it felt could be improved.

Firstly, the members visited Elson Rec, where they pointed out the dilapidated changing block, the lack of football goal nets and the lack of benches.

Then they visited Agnew House, on San Diego Road, a homeless centre that has undergone a £1m refurbishment.

The group said the area still looked run-down and that they had seen anti-social behaviour happening outside.

Council leader Mark Hook said it would soon improve as work is under way to build the first council houses in four decades on the site of derelict bungalows nearby. Cllr Peter Edgar said he would ensure the area was finished neatly.

The group also visited the black bridge, near Clayhall Road, where they discussed tombstoning and the theft of bikes in the summer.

Cllr Graham Burgess said he would look into stepping up patrols from PCSOs and education programmes.

The group also visited Stanley Park, Siskin Rec, Forton Rec and Grove Road Park.

Camron Adams, 17, chairman of the youth council, said he hoped councillors would take on board some of the suggestions.

He said: ‘I hope we can keep a strong young persons’ voice and keep Gosport an area of strong youth provision.’