Field-row youth shelter is given the green light

IT sparked the resignation of a parish clerk and divided a village, but plans to site a youth shelter on a field in Sawtry will go ahead. At the meeting of Sawtry Parish Council last Wednesday night, counc-illors approved plans to site the shelter on St J

IT sparked the resignation of a parish clerk and divided a village, but plans to site a youth shelter on a field in Sawtry will go ahead.

At the meeting of Sawtry Parish Council last Wednesday night, counc-illors approved plans to site the shelter on St Judith's Field.

The scheme had caused some controversy with residents divided about the project, and parish clerk Jackie Stanbridge resigned last week after a statement released by a Sawtry resident condemned her involvement in the youth shelter.

Mrs Stanbridge, who had been clerk for three years, said she had considered taking legal action and has since released a statementthrough her solicitor.


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She told The Hunts Post: "I have been asked by the parish council to reconsider my resignation and I said I will think about it.

"It is upsetting that the youth shelter issue has got personal and I hope the statement issued by my solicitor will be the end to the matter."

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The statement points out that Mrs Stanbridge acted only as a liaison officer for the council and made no policy decisions about the shelter or held any political position.

Sawtry Parish Council chairman Councillor Dick Tuplin agreed that the youth shelter issue had become "messy".

He said: "I'm glad a decision has been made as we have got to move forward.

"You can't keep putting things back otherwise nothing will ever get done and the kids need our support."

Sawtry firefighter and resident David Killner said: "Sawtry isn't a bad place to live, it certainty isn't as bad as the Press make it out to be, but St Judith's Field isn't the right place to site a youth shelter."

Chloe Morgan, another Sawtry resident, said: "The proposed youth shelter is the wrong thing in the wrong place. St Judith's Field needs to be protected."

But Cllr Tuplin believes a youth shelter on St Judith's Field is the best move.

"Not in my back yard is what we have got - people who live near the field do not want the shelter.

"Children already meet on the field so it makes sense for them to have a place of their own on that field, then maybe things will improve.

"The children had a wish list for what they wanted in Sawtry and at the top of that list was a youth shelter, so now they are getting one."

The design, cost and date the shelter will be constructed is still unknown as the issue has been passed to the Sawtry Parc project to discuss.

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