'Nothing for teenagers to do in Ramsey'
A HUNTINGDONSHIRE town has been accused by a police community support officer of having absolutely nothing for teenagers to do. At a meeting on Thursday to discuss the future of Ramsey s former Grand Cinema site, PCSO Jill Tiernan told the town council
A HUNTINGDONSHIRE town has been accused by a police community support officer of having "absolutely nothing" for teenagers to do.
At a meeting on Thursday to discuss the future of Ramsey's former Grand Cinema site, PCSO Jill Tiernan told the town council it was up to its members to provide the town's youngsters with some entertainment and a meeting place.
"It is your job as a council to provide somewhere for these youngsters to go," she said.
"I am on foot patrol at the weekends from 4.30 in the afternoon until midnight and I follow a group of about 30 kids going round Ramsey and there is absolutely nothing for them to do.
"It is up to you as a town council to provide something like they had at The Grand."
Her comments followed a call from Councillor Mike Cusack for more police on the streets as he claimed the number of ASBO orders being made were of great concern.
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Town councillors hope to get additional facilities for youngsters incorporated into the scheme for The Grand Cinema, which is due to be redeveloped as a library and housing.
So far, the plans have met with mixed reactions from residents, many who would like
a replacement for The Grand, a building that was under used and too large to be financially viable.
Instead, they are being offered community meeting rooms in the library that would hold up to 20 people. This is felt to be too small for the town.
However, there is also plan to provide a community hall as part of Ramsey's Northern Gateway project. This is dependant upon Tesco putting in planning permission for a store - the hall would be paid for with money included as part of that scheme.
Other criticism of the scheme focus on the style of housing planned for the site, with claims it is out of keeping with the area.
On Thursday, Drew Campion, head of development for Luminus Group, which is putting the scheme together with Huntingdonshire District Council, showed there is support for the sheme.
He told councillors that of the 47 forms had been filled in by the public at a consultation last month, 26 were "very positive" about proposed services in the new building. He added that 23 felt the design was not in keeping with the character of Ramsey and 18 had raised concern about parking.
Despite the lack of numbers against the plan, Ramsey town councillors stuck to their criticism.
Cllr Mike Cusack said: "We need something that will last for a 100 years, not something that looks like a multi-storey car park. You need to design with the vernacular of the area. Where in Ramsey have we got that amount of glass or flat roofs?"
However, the Mayor of Ramsey, Cllr Ian Walker said he liked the idea of having youth services in the library but said the town needed a community meeting place.