HopeZone to withdraw plans to build youth centreBy Becky Barnes
September 25, 2012
Plans for a youth centre in Crowthorne that were met with resistance will be withdrawn this week.
Crowthorne HopeZone re-submitted an application to build a temporary building on the Morgan Recreation Ground in July but announced today they would be looking for another premises.
Reverend Martin Ceaser, chair of Crowthorne HopeZone, said: "In the light of recent developments, conversations with residents, and in the light of some (rather extreme) comments published in the local press, we have taken the decision to withdraw our application for a temporary building on the Morgan Recreation Ground.
"This in no way signals the end of HopeZone as there is still a chronic shortage of meaningful provision for young people in our village - however we have come to the conclusion that if the development were to go ahead, any behaviour deemed to be unsatisfactory on the recreation ground would immediately be blamed on HopeZone, and the young people, which would reinforce their feeling of alienation rather than reduce it as we aim to do.
"Therefore we will continue to operate out of Crowthorne Baptist Church for the foreseeable future, and continue our search for a suitable premises that the youngsters can call their own. "Many of those who have opposed the site have also expressed support for what we are trying to do, and we are grateful for that.
"However, we are saddened by the fact that the young people’s perception of Crowthorne life is that they are a nuisance and not wanted.
"HopeZone, and its community partners, has always maintained that if we provide a positive example and support for our young people they will be less likely to be in a position to 'cause trouble'. "As the old saying goes, it’s much better to have a fence at the top of a cliff than an ambulance at the bottom.
"HopeZone values Young People and seeks to model that to them, and would like to encourage all members of the community to work together for the good of the village."